PRESS RELEASE

Euro area balance of payments in June 2013

16 August 2013

In June 2013 the seasonally adjusted current account of the euro area recorded a surplus of €16.9 billion. In the financial account, combined direct and portfolio investment recorded net inflows of €18 billion (non-seasonally adjusted).

Current account

The seasonally adjusted current account of the euro area recorded a surplus of €16.9 billion in June 2013 (see Table 1). This reflected surpluses for goods (€11.8 billion), services (€8.7 billion) and income (€6.4 billion), which were partly offset by a deficit for current transfers (€10.1 billion).

The seasonally adjusted 12-month cumulated current account for the period ending in June 2013 recorded a surplus of €196.1 billion (2.1% of euro area GDP), compared with a surplus of €66.1 billion (0.7% of euro area GDP) for the previous 12-month period (see Table 1 and Chart 1). The increase in the surplus of the current account was due mainly to higher surpluses for goods (€152.7 billion, up from €53.3 billion) and, albeit to a lesser extent, for income (€57.9 billion, after €35.7 billion) and services (€95.0 billion, after €86.3 billion). The deficit for current transfers remained broadly unchanged.

Financial account

In the financial account (see Table 2), combined direct and portfolio investment recorded net inflows of €18 billion in June 2013, as a result of net inflows for portfolio investment (€23 billion), which were partly offset by net outflows in direct investment (€5 billion).

The net inflows for portfolio investment were due mainly to net inflows for equity (€27 billion) that resulted both from net sales of foreign equities by euro area residents (€18 billion) and from net purchases of euro area equities by non-euro area residents (€8 billion). Debt instruments recorded net outflows (€4 billion) that were due to net sales of euro area bonds and notes by non-euro area residents (€33 billion), counterbalanced by net sales of foreign bonds and notes by euro area residents (€28 billion).

The financial derivatives account recorded net inflows of €14 billion.

Other investment recorded net outflows of €57 billion, reflecting net outflows for MFIs (excluding the Eurosystem) (€46 billion), for other sectors (€10 billion) and for the Eurosystem (€6 billion), which were partly offset by net inflows for general government (€6 billion).

The Eurosystem’s stock of reserve assets decreased by €57 billion in June 2013 (to €564 billion, from €621 billion in May), mainly on account of a decrease in the market price of gold.

In the 12-month period up to June 2013, combined direct and portfolio investment recorded cumulated net inflows of €65 billion, compared with net outflows of €60 billion in the 12-month period up to June 2012. This shift was the result of an increase in net inflows for portfolio investment (from €13 billion to €145 billion). Net outflows for direct investment increased from €73 billion to €81 billion.

Data revisions

This press release incorporates revisions to the data for May 2013. These revisions have not significantly altered the figures previously published for the current, capital and financial accounts.

Additional information on the euro area balance of payments and international investment position

In this press release, the seasonally adjusted current account refers to working day and seasonally adjusted data. Data for the financial account are not working day or seasonally adjusted.

In line with the agreed allocation of responsibilities, the European Central Bank compiles and disseminates monthly and quarterly balance of payments statistics for the euro area, whereas the European Commission (Eurostat; see news releases for “Euro-indicators”) focuses on quarterly and annual aggregates for the European Union. These data comply with international standards, particularly those set out in the IMF’s Balance of Payments Manual (fifth edition). The aggregates for the euro area and the European Union are compiled consistently on the basis of transactions and positions vis-à-vis residents of countries outside the euro area and the European Union respectively.

A complete set of updated euro area balance of payments statistics (including a quarterly geographical breakdown for the main counterparts) and international investment position statistics is available in the “Statistics” section of the ECB’s website under the headings “Data services”/“Latest monetary, financial markets and balance of payments statistics”. These data, as well as historical euro area balance of payments time series, can be downloaded from the ECB’s Statistical Data Warehouse (SDW). Data up to June 2013 will also be published in the September 2013 issues of the ECB’s Monthly Bulletin and the Statistics Pocket Book. Detailed methodological notes are available on the ECB’s website. The next press release on the euro area monthly balance of payments will be published on 17 September 2013.

The ECB will start publishing, at the end of 2014, the euro area balance of payments and international investment positions statistics in accordance with its Guideline ECB/2011/23, which adheres to the sixth edition of the IMF Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual (BPM6). More detailed information is available on a dedicated webpage

Annexes

Table 1: Current account of the euro area

Table 2: Monthly balance of payments of the euro area

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