content here is the anonymously transparent proxied version of ecb.europa.eu   X

PRESS RELEASE

Euro area monthly balance of payments: January 2020

20 March 2020

  • In January 2020 the current account of the euro area recorded a surplus of €35 billion, compared with a surplus of €33 billion in December 2019.
  • In the 12-month period to January 2020, the current account recorded a surplus of €364 billion (3.1% of euro area GDP), compared with a surplus of €359 billion (also 3.1% of euro area GDP) in the 12 months to January 2019.
  • In the financial account, euro area residents made net acquisitions of foreign portfolio investment securities totalling €393 billion in the 12-month period to January 2020 (up from €138 billion in the 12 months to January 2019). Over the same period, non-residents made net acquisitions of euro area portfolio investment securities amounting to €419 billion (in comparison with net sales of €45 billion).

Chart 1

Euro area current account balance

(EUR billions unless otherwise indicated; working day and seasonally adjusted data)

Source: ECB.

The current account of the euro area recorded a surplus of €35 billion in January 2020, increasing by €2 billion from the previous month (see Chart 1 and Table 1). Surpluses were recorded for goods (€27 billion), primary income (€14 billion) and services (€10 billion). These were partly offset by a deficit for secondary income (€17 billion).

Table 1

Current account of the euro area

(EUR billions unless otherwise indicated; transactions; working day and seasonally adjusted data)

Source: ECB.

Note: Discrepancies between totals and their components may be due to rounding.

Data for the current account of the euro area

In the 12 months to January 2020, the current account recorded a surplus of €364 billion (3.1% of euro area GDP), compared with a surplus of €359 billion (also 3.1% of euro area GDP) in the 12 months to January 2019. This increase reflected a larger surplus for goods (up from €295 billion to €340 billion), which was largely offset by reductions in the surpluses for primary income (down from €106 billion to €84 billion) and services (down from €113 billion to €95 billion). The deficit for secondary income remained stable at €155 billion.

Chart 2

Selected items of the euro area financial account

(EUR billions; 12-month cumulated data)

Source: ECB.

Notes: For assets, a positive (negative) number indicates net purchases (sales) of non-euro area instruments by euro area investors. For liabilities, a positive (negative) number indicates net sales (purchases) of euro area instruments by non-euro area investors.

In direct investment, euro area residents made net investments of €31 billion in non-euro area assets in the 12-month period to January 2020, following net disinvestments of €215 billion in the 12 months to January 2019 (see Chart 2 and Table 2). At the same time, non-residents made net investments in euro area assets of €56 billion in the 12-month period to January 2020, following net disinvestments of €264 billion in the 12 months to January 2019.

In portfolio investment, net purchases of foreign debt securities by euro area residents increased to €334 billion in the 12-month period to January 2020, following net purchases of €136 billion in the 12 months to January 2019. Over the same period, euro area residents made net purchases of foreign equity amounting to €59 billion, after net purchases of €1 billion in the 12 months to January 2019. Non-residents made net purchases of euro area debt securities of €136 billion in the 12 months to January 2020, after recording net sales of €124 billion in the 12 months to January 2019. Over the same period, non-residents’ net purchases of euro area equity increased to €283 billion from €79 billion.

Table 2

Financial account of the euro area

(EUR billions unless otherwise indicated; transactions; non-working day and non-seasonally adjusted data)

Source: ECB.

Notes: Decreases in assets and liabilities are shown with a minus sign. Net financial derivatives are reported under assets. “MFIs” stands for monetary financial institutions. Discrepancies between totals and their components may be due to rounding.

Data for the financial account of the euro area

In other investment, euro area residents’ net acquisitions of foreign assets increased to €283 billion in the 12 months to January 2020 (following net acquisitions of €242 billion in the 12 months to January 2019), while non-euro area residents recorded net disposals of €49 billion in euro area assets, following net acquisitions of €270 billion.

Chart 3

Monetary presentation of the balance of payments

(EUR billions; 12-month cumulated data)

Source: ECB.

Notes: MFI net external assets (enhanced) incorporates an adjustment to the MFI net external assets (as reported in the consolidated MFI balance sheet items statistics) based on information on MFI long-term liabilities held by non-residents, available in b.o.p. statistics. B.o.p. transactions refer only to transactions of non-MFI residents of the euro area. Financial transactions are shown as liabilities net of assets. “Other” includes financial derivatives, other investment and statistical discrepancies.

The monetary presentation of the balance of payments (see Chart 3) shows that the net external assets (enhanced) of euro area MFIs increased by €333 billion in the 12-month period to January 2020. This increase was mainly driven by a current and capital accounts surplus and, to a lesser extent, by euro area non-MFIs’ net inflows in portfolio investment equity. This increase was partly offset by euro area non-MFIs’ net outflows in portfolio investment debt securities.

In January 2020 the Eurosystem’s stock of reserve assets increased to €846.8 billion, up from €813.6 billion in the previous month (see Table 3). This increase was mostly driven by positive price changes (€27.8 billion) and to a lesser extent by positive exchange rate changes (€4.3 billion) and net acquisitions of assets (€1.0 billion).

Table 3

Reserve assets of the euro area

(EUR billions; amounts outstanding at the end of the period, flows during the period; non-working day and non-seasonally adjusted data)

Source: ECB.

Note: “Other reserve assets” comprises currency and deposits, securities, financial derivatives (net) and other claims.

Data for the reserve assets of the euro area

Data revisions

This press release does not incorporate revisions to previous periods.

Next press releases:

  • quarterly balance of payments and international investment position: 7 April 2020 (reference data up to the fourth quarter of 2019)
  • monthly balance of payments: 20 April 2020 (reference data up to February 2020)

For media queries, please contact Philippe Rispal, tel.: +49 69 1344 5482.

Notes

  • Hyperlinks in this press release lead to data that may change with subsequent releases as a result of revisions.

Media contacts