Island’s current account surplus at $328m

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  • Staying high: Bermuda’s current account revenue in the first quarter of the year was more than double what it was in the same period in 2016

    Staying high: Bermuda’s current account revenue in the first quarter of the year was more than double what it was in the same period in 2016

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.

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Published Jul 31, 2017 at 8:00 am (Updated Jul 30, 2017 at 11:50 pm)

Island’s current account surplus at $328m

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