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Foreign trade shows surplus.

Cuba's broadest gauge of its foreign trade swung to a $488 million surplus in 2007--helped by a surge in service exports which traditionally include health care provided in Venezuela.

Reuters, quoting official figures, reported Aug. 13 that Cuba's current-account balance of payments moved to a surplus in 2007 from a $215 million deficit in 2006, as net service exports reached $7.8 billion--helping offset a trade deficit of about $6.2 billion, as gauged by current prices.

Cuba doesn't specify what it includes in the service export category, though on various occasions officials have said tourism and related revenues, the export of medical and other technical services and donations all fall within it.

Last year, Cuba's exports of goods came to $4 billion compared with $3.2 billion in 2006. Total imports of goods hit $10.2 billion compared to $9.5 billion in 2006. Analysts say higher prices of nickel, Cuba's top export, helped boost overall exports.
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Date:Sep 1, 2008
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