C/A deficit worsens in November due to trade

Greece’s current account deficit grew to 1.367 billion euros in November from a deficit of 1.251 billion in the same month last year due to a higher trade deficit, the Bank of Greece announced yesterday. By contrast, the deficit in the first 11 months of the year shrunk to 5.083 billion euros, compared to 7.055 during the same period in 2003. «In November 2004, the current account deficit grew by 116 million euros over the same month of 2003. This development is due to the substantial increase in the trade deficit, which was largely offset by a rise in the services and the transfers surplus. There was no significant change in the income account balance,» Bank of Greece said. «The widening of the trade deficit (to 2.31 billion euros from 1.79 billion in November 2003) was mainly accounted for by an increase in the non-oil trade deficit, while the net oil import bill also rose,» it added. «The services surplus improved considerably, to 593 million euros in November 2004 from 354 million in November 2003 as a result of an increase in net transport receipts, while net travel receipts remained virtually unchanged and net payments for ‘other’ services grew.» The bank attributed the overall improvement in the first 11 months of 2004 to «a substantial rise in the services surplus, an increase in the transfers surplus, as well as a small decrease in the income account deficit, which more than offset a strong rise in the trade deficit.»