PRESS RELEASE

Euro area monthly balance of payments (June 2017)

18 August 2017
  • In June 2017 the current account of the euro area recorded a surplus of €21.2 billion.[1]
  • In the financial account, combined direct and portfolio investment recorded net acquisitions of assets of €34 billion and net incurrences of liabilities of €39 billion.

Current account

The current account of the euro area recorded a surplus of €21.2 billion in June 2017 (see Table 1). This reflected surpluses for goods (€27.4 billion), primary income (€4.6 billion) and services (€2.2 billion), which were partly offset by a deficit for secondary income (€13.0 billion).

The 12-month cumulated current account for the period ending in June 2017 recorded a surplus of €336.5 billion (3.1% of euro area GDP), compared with one of €375.0 billion (3.5% of euro area GDP) for the 12 months to June 2016 (see Table 1 and Chart 1). This development was due to decreases in the surpluses for goods (from €369.0 billion to €341.1 billion) and services (from €63.3 billion to €46.5 billion), and an increase in the deficit for secondary income (from €120.0 billion to €144.8 billion). These were partly offset by an increase in the surplus for primary income (from €62.6 billion to €93.7 billion).

Financial account

In June 2017 combined direct and portfolio investment recorded net acquisitions of assets of €34 billion and net incurrences of liabilities of €39 billion (see Table 2).

Euro area residents recorded net disposals of €40 billion of direct investment assets as a result of net disinvestments in equity (€32 billion) and debt instruments (€8 billion). Direct investment liabilities increased by €5 billion as a result of net acquisitions of euro area equity (€9 billion) by non-euro area residents, which were partly offset by net disposals of debt instruments by non-euro area residents (€4 billion).

With regard to portfolio investment assets, euro area residents made net acquisitions of foreign securities amounting to €73 billion. This resulted from net acquisitions of equity (€17 billion) and debt securities (€16 billion of a short-term and €41 billion of a long-term maturity). Portfolio investment liabilities increased by €34 billion as a result of non-euro area residents’ net acquisitions of euro area equity (€43 billion) and, to a lesser extent, long-term debt securities (€3 billion), which were partly offset by net sales/amortisations of short-term debt securities (€11 billion) by non-euro area residents.

The euro area net financial derivatives account (assets minus liabilities) recorded negative net flows of €9 billion.

Other investment recorded decreases of €90 billion in assets and €197 billion in liabilities. The decrease in assets is mainly attributable to the MFI sector (excluding the Eurosystem) (€115 billion), which was partly offset by an increase in other investment assets of other sectors (€25 billion). The decrease in liabilities was largely explained by the MFI sector (excluding the Eurosystem) (€200 billion).

In the 12 months to June 2017 combined direct and portfolio investment recorded increases of €841 billion in assets and €312 billion in liabilities, compared with increases of €921 billion and €362 billion respectively in the 12 months to June 2016. This resulted primarily from a decrease in the direct investment activity of both euro area residents abroad and non-residents in the euro area, which was partly offset by an increase in portfolio investment activity.

According to the monetary presentation of the balance of payments, the net external assets of euro area monetary financial institutions (MFIs) decreased by €187 billion in the 12 months to June 2017, compared with a decrease of €131 billion in the 12 months to June 2016. This still reflects primarily a 12-month cumulated current account surplus (€319.3 billion) whose counterpart entries are observed in net financial transactions by non-MFIs. In particular, the cumulated transactions in direct investment liabilities decreased significantly from €462 billion to €129 billion, while transactions in portfolio investment assets switched from net sales/amortisations of euro area non-MFI equities of €11 billion to net purchases of €116 billion.

In June 2017 the Eurosystem’s stock of reserve assets decreased to €682.7 billion from €699.5 billion in the previous month (see Table 3). This decrease (€16.8 billion) is mainly explained by negative price changes (€13.8 billion), particularly of monetary gold, and exchange rate developments (€4.4 billion).

Data revisions

This press release incorporates revisions to the data for April and May 2017. These revisions have resulted in a decrease of the portfolio investment account by €24 billion and changes to the net errors and omissions sign for May 2017.

Additional information

Next press releases:

  • monthly balance of payments: 19 September 2017 (reference data up to July 2017);
  • quarterly balance of payments and international investment position: 4 October 2017 (reference data up to the second quarter of 2017).

Annexes

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



[1] References to the current account are always to data that are seasonally and working day-adjusted, unless otherwise indicated, whereas references to the capital and financial accounts are to data that are neither seasonally nor working day-adjusted.

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