Raiffeisen Bank, RBA.jpg
Photograph: EPA/CHRISTIAN BRUNA

The current account deficit in the first quarter of 2016 was EUR 1.6 billion, up 25.6% on the year, Raiffeisenbank Austria (RBA) said in an analysis published on Friday.

As expected, the negative contribution came from the goods account, whose deficit reached nearly EUR 1.7 billion, up 1% from Q1 2015, RBA analysts said.

Although goods exports went up 6.6% and goods imports 4.3%, the absolute imports growth in Q1 2016 was stronger, resulting in a trade deficit increase.

On the services account, the surplus balance dropped 4.8% to EUR 317 million.

Tourism revenues went up 16% to EUR 391 million, while travel expenditures reached EUR 145 million, up 24.6% from Q1 2015.

The biggest negative contribution to the current account deficit came from the primary income and secondary income accounts. The primary income account deficit in Q1 2016 was EUR 370 million, up 76% on the year, while the secondary income account surplus dropped 45% to EUR 160 million.

Over the past four quarters, the surplus balance on the current account remained a relatively high 4.4% of GDP thanks to bank losses on the primary income account resulting from the conversion of Swiss franc loans to euros.

This year, alongside another good tourism season, a better absorption of EU funds is expected which, together with lower oil prices, could result in a positive current account balance for the fourth consecutive year which, however, will be markedly lower because of the loan conversion, RBA analysts said.

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