ECONOMY

Tourism boosts current accounts

The remarkable increase in tourism this summer has result in the virtual wipeout of the country’s current account deficit for the first seven months of the year, according to data released on Wednesday by the Bank of Greece.

Tourism arrivals grew by 1 million in the year to end-July to 8.7 million.

Travel receipts in the period from January to July went up by 15.5 percent, or about 768 million euros year-on-year, to reach 5.68 billion euros. In July the annual increase amounted to 12.3 percent, or 258 million euros, reaching 2.35 billion.

The travel expenses of Greeks traveling abroad dropped 7.4 percent in the year’s first seven months.

As a result, the current account deficit was reduced by 97.6 percent from the January-July 2012 period to just 156 million euros. This was also thanks to the 33.4 percent decline in fuel imports resulting from the drop in consumption as well as the 18 percent fall in net payments for the acquisition of ships.