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PRESS RELEASE

Euro area balance of payments (April 2008)

27 June 2008

In April 2008 the working day and seasonally adjusted current account of the euro area was close to balance. In the financial account, combined direct and portfolio investment showed net outflows of EUR 24 billion.

Current account

The working day and seasonally adjusted current account of the euro area was close to balance in April 2008 (corresponding to a deficit of EUR 9.2 billion in non-adjusted terms). This reflected deficits in current transfers (EUR 7.4 billion) and income (EUR 2.1 billion), which were offset by surpluses in goods (EUR 5.9 billion) and services (EUR 3.3 billion).

The 12-month cumulated, working day-adjusted current account up to April 2008 was close to balance, compared with a surplus of EUR 10.3 billion a year earlier. This was a result mainly of the income account shifting from a surplus (of EUR 7.7 billion) to a deficit (of EUR 5.2 billion) and the deficit in current transfers increasing (from EUR 80.1 billion to EUR 89.7 billion), with these developments only partly offset by increases in the surpluses in goods (from EUR 37.5 billion to EUR 43.2 billion) and services (from EUR 45.2 billion to EUR 51.8 billion).

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Financial account

In the financial account, combined direct and portfolio investment recorded net outflows of EUR 24 billion in April 2008, reflecting net outflows in direct investment (EUR 24 billion) and balanced portfolio investment.

The net outflows in direct investment resulted from net outflows both in equity capital and reinvested earnings (EUR 8 billion) and in other capital, mostly inter-company loans (EUR 16 billion).

Portfolio investment recorded net outflows in equity (EUR 21 billion), which were offset by net inflows in debt instruments (EUR 21 billion), especially in money market instruments (EUR 20 billion).

Financial derivatives recorded net outflows of EUR 14 billion.

Other investment recorded net inflows of EUR 63 billion, mainly as a result of net inflows in MFIs excluding the Eurosystem (EUR 67 billion).

Reserve assets increased by EUR 3 billion (excluding valuation effects). The stock of the Eurosystem’s reserve assets stood at EUR 349 billion at the end of April 2008.

In the 12-month period to April 2008 combined direct and portfolio investment showed cumulated net inflows of EUR 8 billion, compared with net inflows of EUR 268 billion a year earlier. This development resulted largely from a decline in the net inflows in portfolio investment (from EUR 401 billion to EUR 174 billion), which in turn mainly reflected a decline in net purchases of euro area bonds and notes by non-resident investors.

Data revisions

In addition to the balance of payments for April 2008, this press release incorporates revisions for March 2008. Those revisions did not significantly alter the previously published data.

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

A complete set of updated euro area balance of payments and international investment position statistics is available on the ECB’s website in the “Statistics” section under the headings “Data services”/“Latest monetary, financial markets and balance of payments statistics”. These data, as well as the historical euro area balance of payments time series, can be downloaded from the ECB’s Statistical Data Warehouse (SDW). Data up to April 2008 will also be published in the July 2008 issues of the ECB’s Monthly Bulletin and Statistics Pocket Book. A detailed methodological note is available on the ECB’s website. The next press release on the euro area monthly balance of payments will be published on 24 July 2008.

Annexes

Table 1: Current account of the euro area – working day and seasonally adjusted data.

Table 2: Monthly balance of payments of the euro area – non-seasonally adjusted data.

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