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Greek May current account gap widens despite jump in tourism revenue

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ATHENS (Reuters) -Greece's current account deficit widened in May from the same month last year while tourism revenue increased, the central bank said on Thursday.

Data from the Bank of Greece showed the current account gap was 2.004 billion euros ($2.04 billion), up from 1.357 billion in May 2021.

The wider deficit resulted from a larger trade gap, as imports outpaced exports, and a deterioration in the primary and secondary income accounts, the bank said.

Exports rose 8.6% at constant prices but were outpaced by imports which increased 32.5%, it said.

Tourism revenue in May jumped to 1.414 billion euros from 0.222 billion in the same month a year earlier, amid wide curbs against the spread of COVID-19.

Non-resident arrivals grew 672.5% in May on the year, with revenue up by 536.4%, the central bank said, corresponding to 92.4% and 90.3% of their respective levels in 2019, which was a record year for tourism.

In the first five months of 2022, the current account deficit increased by 4.1 billion euros on the year and stood at 10.1 billion euros.

In 2021, Greece's current account gap shrank by 356 million euros year-on-year, to 10.6 billion euros.

Greece's reserve assets rose to 10.8 billion euros by end-May from 8.7 billion in the corresponding month a year earlier.

($1=0.9815 euros)

(Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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