Island’s current account surplus at $328m
Bermuda’s current account surplus doubled in the first three months of this year to $328 million, compared to $161 million for the same period last year.
The increase was largely attributed to improvement in the surplus balance on the primary income account as a result of investment income.
Imports of goods jumped to $250 million, an increase of $27 million on the same quarter last year.
Bermuda Government statisticians said the change was down to an $11 million increase in imports from the US, the country’s main trading partner, and a $6 million increase in importation of Caribbean goods, while imports from countries competing in the summer’s America’s Cup also recorded “large increases”.
But the value of imported goods from Canada dropped $2 million.
In the commodity groups, the increase was reflected mostly in the imports of finished equipment and machinery, which rose by $13 million and $11 million respectively.
Basic materials and semi-manufactured items, however, saw a decline of $4 million over the period.
Revenue from exported goods went up by $1 million.
The figures were contained in government’s balance of payments statistics, which reflect the island’s economic transactions with the rest of the world.
The services account surplus increased by $3 million and stood at $282 million during the quarter.
The provision of government services earned an extra $6 million from an increase in revenue from exempted companies tax.
In addition, there was a $3 million increase in travel services revenue due to an increase in both air and cruise ship arrivals and a higher per visitor expenditure.
Receipts from business services dropped $30 million to $186 million compared to the previous quarter’s $216 million and $3 million on the same quarter of 2016.
In insurance services, receipts also fell, down $3 million to $20 million.
Financial services receipts, however, rose by $1 million to $30 million compared to the same period last year, but showed a $24 million drop when compared to the previous quarter.
The primary income account, which shows balances on compensation earned or paid to non-residents and income from investments and payroll tax paid by non-resident companies to Government, recorded a surplus increase of $189 million, up to $580 million for the quarter compared to $387 at the same point last year.
The balance of payments report said: “This increase reflected primarily a $180 million rise in net investment income as a result of lower reinvested earnings.
“The surplus on other income also grew by $12 million when compared to the same period in 2016.”
The country’s international investment position — the overseas assets of Bermuda residents and companies less overseas liabilities — stood at more than $4.2 billion, up $481 million on the last quarter of 2016.