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PRESS RELEASE

Euro area balance of payments (November 2008)

27 January 2009

In November 2008 the working day and seasonally adjusted current account of the euro area recorded a deficit of EUR 16.0 billion. In the financial account, combined direct and portfolio investment showed net inflows of EUR 17 billion.

Current account

The working day and seasonally adjusted current account of the euro area recorded a deficit of EUR 16.0 billion in November 2008 (corresponding to a deficit of EUR 13.9 billion in non-adjusted terms). This reflected deficits in current transfers (EUR 9.5 billion), goods (EUR 6.0 billion) and income (EUR 4.0 billion), which were only partly offset by a surplus in services (EUR 3.4 billion).

The 12-month cumulated, working day-adjusted current account up to November 2008 recorded a deficit of EUR 65.3 billion (about 0.7% of euro area GDP), compared with a surplus of EUR 45.9 billion a year earlier. This shift was mainly due to shifts in goods (from a surplus of EUR 63.4 billion to a deficit of EUR 4.8 billion) and income (from a surplus of EUR 11.9 billion to a deficit of EUR 16.0 billion).

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Financial account

In the financial account, combined direct and portfolio investment showed net inflows of EUR 17 billion in November 2008, as net inflows in portfolio investment (EUR 48 billion) significantly exceeded net outflows in direct investment (EUR 31 billion).

The net outflows in direct investment mostly resulted from net outflows in other capital (mostly inter-company loans) (EUR 30 billion).

Portfolio investment recorded net inflows in both equity (EUR 36 billion) and debt instruments (EUR 12 billion). These developments were mainly caused by net purchases of euro area securities by non-residents.

Financial derivatives recorded net outflows of EUR 2 billion.

Other investment showed net inflows of EUR 3 billion, as a result of net inflows in MFIs (excluding the Eurosystem) (EUR 33 billion) and other sectors (EUR 5 billion), that were only to a certain extent counterbalanced by net outflows from the Eurosystem (EUR 29 billion) and general government (EUR 5 billion).

Reserve assets increased by EUR 1 billion (excluding valuation effects). The stock of the Eurosystem’s reserve assets stood at EUR 393 billion at the end of November 2008.

In the 12-month period to November 2008 combined direct and portfolio investment showed cumulated net inflows of EUR 109 billion, compared to EUR 86 billion a year earlier. This increase resulted from a rise in net inflows in portfolio investment (from EUR 193 billion to EUR 366 billion), largely reflecting a shift from net outflows to net inflows in money market instruments.

Data revisions

In addition to the balance of payments for November 2008, this press release incorporates revisions for October 2008. These revisions have not significantly changed the results for October 2008.

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 November 2008 will also be published in the February 2009 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 February 2009.

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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