Today the Minister for the Cabinet Office the Hon. Wayne Furbert, JP, MP, released the 2020 Q2 Balance of Payments & International Investment Position publication from the Department of Statistics.
The Minister explained, “Bermuda’s trade with non-residents resulted in a $250 million surplus for the second quarter of 2020, increasing $94 million from a year ago. This growth was due mainly to an increase in the surplus balance on the primary income account and a smaller deficit on the goods account.
“The surplus on the primary income account rose $18 million due primarily to a $31 million rise in the balance on investment income as fewer dividends were paid. This increase was offset by smaller surplus balances related to employee compensation and other income transactions of $11 million and $1 million, respectively.
“Transactions related to trade in goods resulted in a smaller deficit on the goods account, decreasing by $180 million to $178 million. The sharp decrease in the value of imported goods was reflected in all broad commodity groupings. Imports of Machinery, Finished Equipment, Fuels and Transport Equipment recorded the most significant decreases with a combined $155 million decrease in imports. Payments for imported goods from the United States of America and Canada fell by $117 million and $6 million, respectively.”
Minister Furbert added, “The growth in the surplus balance was tempered by a smaller surplus recorded on the services account. During the second quarter, net receipts for travel services fell $179 million due to COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions. The surplus balance on financial services also decreased by $2 million year-over-year. In contrast, the net balance on other business services grew $30 million reflecting lower payments to non-residents for engineering services. Transportation services recorded a smaller deficit balance of $22 million in line with a fall in freight transport payments and government services recorded a $1 million increase in the net surplus balance.”
The Minister continued, “Bermuda’s trade in financial assets and liabilities with the rest of the world resulted in a net international investment position of $3,881 million at the end of the second quarter 2020, rising $612 million over the first quarter of 2020. Both foreign assets and foreign liabilities fell during the period due to fewer holdings of currency and deposits. Foreign assets were measured by currency holdings, and deposits with non-resident banks, which both decreased. Foreign liabilities represented currency and deposit holdings of non-residents with local banks, which also decreased.
“Three of the four institutional sectors recorded positive balances on their net international investment positions at the end of the second quarter. Specifically, financial corporations recorded a balance of $5,300 million, the government sector recorded a balance of $61 million and non-profit institutions recorded a balance of $27 million. In contrast, non-financial corporations recorded a deficit balance of $1,508 million.”
The 2020 Q2 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.