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First quarter balance of payments surplus rises

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Bermuda’s trade surplus increased in the first quarter of 2021, the Government said. (File photograph)

Bermuda recorded a first quarter 2021 balance of payments surplus nearly $100 million higher than for the same period the year before, Minister for the Cabinet Office Wayne Furbert has reported.

In a press statement, the Minister said: “Bermuda’s trade with non-residents resulted in a $303 million surplus for the first quarter of 2021, increasing $98 million from a year ago.

“This increase was mainly due to a decrease in payments to non-residents which was larger than the fall in receipts from non-residents.”

The Minister released the first quarter Balance of Payments & International Investment Position publication from the Department of Statistics.

He continued, “Transactions related to trade in goods resulted in a smaller deficit on the goods account, decreasing by $19 million to $244 million.

“The decrease in the value of imported goods was reflected primarily in the imports of fuels which fell by $13 million. Imports of Finished Equipment dropped $9 million.

“Revenue from the exports of goods also decreased by $1 million during the first quarter with less fuel re-exported to foreign airlines visiting Bermuda.”

The Minister further explained, “The surplus balance on the services account fell by $9 million and was negatively affected by movements on the travel account.

“During the first quarter, the balance on the travel account recorded a deficit of $33 million compared to a deficit of $19 million a year ago mostly due to fewer visitors and lower expenditure.

“Net receipts from ICT services also fell during the period, recording a deficit balance of $11 million.

“In contrast, fewer payments for construction/engineering services and a small rise in the surplus balance on accounting services helped to offset the declines.

“The surplus on the primary income account improved by $82 million mostly due to an increase in reinvested earnings and net employee compensation.”

The Minister also noted: “Bermuda’s trade in financial assets and liabilities with the rest of the world resulted in a net international investment position of $4 billion at the end of the first quarter 2021. ”This balance decreased by $30 million over the fourth quarter of 2020 due mostly to fewer holdings of currency and deposits by financial institutions.

“Two of the four institutional sectors recorded positive balances on their net international investment positions at the end of the first quarter.

“Specifically, financial corporations recorded a balance of $6.3 billion and non-profit institutions recorded a balance of $43 million.

“In contrast, non-financial corporations recorded a deficit balance of $2.2 billion while the government recorded a deficit balance of $176 million, which narrowed slightly due to a rise in portfolio investment assets.”

The 2021 Q1 Balance of Payments & International Investment Position publication is available online at

https://www.gov.bm/balance-payments

The public is advised to read the concepts and definitions on the last page of the publication prior to reviewing the data.

Minister for the Cabinet Office, Wayne Furbert (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published August 27, 2021 at 7:53 am (Updated August 27, 2021 at 10:51 am)

First quarter balance of payments surplus rises

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