PRESS RELEASE

Euro area balance of payments in June 2014

19 August 2014

In June 2014 the seasonally adjusted current account of the euro area recorded a surplus of €13.1 billion. In the financial account, combined direct and portfolio investment recorded net inflows of €14 billion (non-seasonally adjusted).

Current account

The seasonally adjusted current account of the euro area recorded a surplus of €13.1 billion in June 2014 (see Table 1). This reflected surpluses for goods (€11.6 billion), services (€8.8 billion) and income (€4.8 billion), which were partly offset by a deficit for current transfers (€12.2 billion).

The seasonally adjusted 12-month cumulated current account for the period ending in June 2014 recorded a surplus of €226.7 billion (2.4% of euro area GDP), after a surplus of €198.4 billion (2.1% of euro area GDP) for the 12 months to June 2013 (see Table 1 and Chart 1). The increase in the 12-month cumulated current account surplus was due mainly to increases in the surpluses for goods (€171.1 billion, up from €141.9 billion) and services (€118.1 billion, up from €99.6 billion), which were partly offset by a decrease in the surplus for income (€56.0 billion, down from €70.3 billion) and by an increase in the deficit for current transfers (from €113.4 to €118.6 billion).

Financial account

In the financial account (see Table 2), combined direct and portfolio investment recorded net inflows of €14 billion in June 2014, as a result of net inflows for both direct investment (€8 billion)and portfolio investment (€6 billion).

The net inflows for direct investment were due almost entirely to net inflows for other capital (mostly inter-company loans).

The net inflows for portfolio investment were accounted for by net inflows for equity (€51 billion) that were partly offset by net outflows for debt instruments (€45 billion). The net outflows for debt instruments were driven mainly by net purchases of foreign bonds and notes by euro area residents (€31 billion), combined with net sales of euro area bonds and notes by non-residents (€20 billion).

The financial derivatives account recorded net inflows of €4 billion.

Other investment recorded net outflows of €54 billion, which mainly reflected net outflows for MFIs excluding the Eurosystem (€51 billion) and for the Eurosystem (€18 billion), which were partly counterbalanced by net inflows for other sectors (€12 billion) and general government (€3 billion).

The Eurosystem’s stock of reserve assets increased by €14 billion in June 2014 (from €569 billion to €583 billion), mainly on account of an increase in the market price of gold.

In the 12 months to June 2014 combined direct and portfolio investment recorded cumulated net inflows of €54 billion, compared with net inflows of €57 billion in the 12 months to June 2013. The decrease was the result of lower net inflows for portfolio investment (€107 billion, down from €126 billion), which were largely offset by lower outflows for direct investment (€53 billion, down from €69 billion).

Data revisions

This press release incorporates regular revisions for May 2014. 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 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 2014 will also be published in the September 2014 issues of the ECB’s Monthly Bulletin and 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 19 September 2014. In the fourth quarter of 2014 the ECB will start publishing the euro area balance of payments and international investment position statistics in accordance with its Guideline ECB/2011/23, which adheres to the sixth edition of the IMF’s 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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