Imports rise as surplus narrows
Bermuda's surplus in economic transactions with the rest of the world narrowed to $204 million in the first quarter of this year.
One of the drivers of the $116 million fall in the current-account surplus, compared to the first quarter of 2018, was a $24 million rise in goods imports.
The island imported goods worth $255 million in the first three months of this year, compared to $231 million in the same period last year. Notably, there was a $37 million rise in imports from the US, wile imports from the UK also grew by $4 million. Goods imported from the Caribbean fell by $15 million year over year, while imports from Canada dipped $2 million.
Machinery imports climbed $11 million, fuel rose by $6 million and finished equipment gained by $5 million.
The island's services account surplus fell $4 million in the first quarter to $75 million. A report from the Bermuda Department of Statistics showed there was a $16 million fall in the surplus for “other business services” due mostly to payments related to construction and engineering services.
Meanwhile, the surplus on government services climbed by $6 million to $50 million.
The primary income account surplus dropped by $88 million to $419 million. The primary income account reflects balances on compensation paid to non-residents and income from investments and payroll tax paid by non-resident companies to the Government.
“This decline reflected primarily a negative balance on net investment income compared to a surplus in the first quarter of 2018,” the report stated.
At the end of the first quarter 2019, the stock of foreign assets held by Bermuda residents registered above its stock of foreign liabilities by an estimated $3.054 billion. The net international investment position increased by $483 million over the fourth quarter of 2018.