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Bermuda’s trade surplus narrows

Import increase: there was an increase in the value of goods being brought into Bermuda in the first quarter of this year

Bermuda’s current-account surplus narrowed in the first quarter mainly due to a slump in investment income.

The island recorded a surplus of $121 million in the January-through-March period, down by $99 million from the same period last year.

The investment income recorded by residents and companies based in Bermuda fell by $66 million and was the main reason for the shrinkage of the surplus.

Services transactions realised a $33 million surplus, while the deficit of the goods account widened by $6 million to $219 million.

In its commentary on the Balance of Payments figures, the Department of Statistics said increased payments and lower receipts relating to business services contributed to the fall in the current-account surplus.

Year over year, the value of imported goods rose 2.8 per cent to $223 million. This increase was due mostly to a $12 million increase in imported goods from Bermuda’s largest trading partner, the US.

In contrast, imports from Canada fell by $6 million while imports of goods from the Caribbean region fell by $3 million. Among the commodity groups, the increase was reflected primarily in the imports of basic materials, and food, beverages and tobacco, which rose $5 million and $4 million, respectively. In contrast, imports of finished equipment contracted by $5 million during the period.