Economy

Balance of payments surplus declines

  • Economic indicator: as a barometer of the island’s economic health, the balance of payments shows the value and volume of goods and services’ transactions between Bermuda and the rest of the world. Last year Bermuda’s current account balance surplus was $763m (Graph by Scott Neil)

Bermuda’s balance of payments surplus was $763 million in 2019, with the value of goods and services sold by the island to the rest of the world easily dwarfing the value of goods and services the island bought from overseas.

However, the surplus was the lowest since 2009, and was down $131 million on 2018.

For the final quarter of the year, the balance of payments surplus was $184 million, unchanged from the same period in 2018.

Also for the quarter, there was a $14 million decrease in the value of goods imported, to $263 million. This was reflected in a contraction in imports of fuels, beverages, tobacco and machinery, but an increase in imports of finished equipment.

Bermuda’s revenue from exports of goods was unchanged at $4 million for the last three months of the year, and there was a $103 million surplus in services transactions, while the surplus on Bermuda’s primary income account fell to $386 million.

Bermuda’s net incurrence of financial liabilities increased by $524 million in the fourth quarter, compared to $401 million for the same period in 2018.

The Balance of Payments figures are estimates and subject to revision. The information was released by the Department of Statistics.

Bermuda’s net international investment position (IIP) improved in the fourth quarter to $3,327 million, an increase of $903 million on the third quarter. The IIP is a record of Bermuda residents’ investments abroad and non-residents’ investment in Bermuda.

Click on “Related Media” to read the Balance of Payments fourth quarter bulletin PDF