- PRESS RELEASE
- 20 July 2018
Euro area monthly balance of payments: May 2018
- In May 2018 the current account of the euro area recorded a surplus of €22 billion, compared with one of €30 billion in April 2018.
- In the 12-month period to May 2018, the current account recorded a surplus of €406 billion (3.6% of euro area GDP), compared with one of €360 billion (3.2% of euro area GDP) in the 12-month period to May 2017.
- In the financial accounteuro area residents made net acquisitions of foreign portfolio investment securities of €548 billion in the 12-month period to May 2018 (increasing from €476 billion in the 12 months to May 2017), while non-residents’ net purchases of euro area portfolio investment securities amounted to €216 billion in the 12 months to May 2018 (up from €189 billion in the 12-month period to May 2017).
Euro area current account balance
The current account of the euro area recorded a surplus of €22 billion in May 2018, compared with one of €30 billion in April 2018 (see Chart 1 and Table 1). The current account recorded surpluses for goods (€21 billion), services (€8 billion) and primary income (€3 billion), which were partly offset by a deficit for secondary income (€10 billion).
Current account of the euro area
In the 12 months to May 2018, the current account recorded a surplus of €406 billion (3.6% of euro area GDP), compared with one of €360 billion (3.2% of euro area GDP) in the previous 12-month period. This increase was mainly due to increases in the surpluses for services (from €56 billion to €109 billion) and, to a lesser extent, for goods (from €341 billion to €349 billion), as well as a lower deficit for secondary income (down from €149 billion to €139 billion). These developments were partly offset by a decline in the surplus for primary income (from €111 billion to €86 billion).
Selected items of the euro area financial account
In the 12-month period to May 2018, there was a substantial change in direct investment compared with the 12 months to May 2017 (see Chart 2 and Table 2). Euro area residents recorded net disinvestments of foreign direct investment assets of €14 billion, following net investments of €450 billion in the previous 12-month period. Non-residents also registered net disinvestments of euro area assets of €166 billion in the 12-month period to May 2018, after having recorded net investments in euro area assets of €233 billion in the 12 months to May 2017.
In portfolio investment, net acquisitions of foreign debt securities by euro area residents increased to €385 billion in the 12 months to May 2018 from €373 billion in the corresponding period to May 2017, while net purchases of foreign equity by euro area residents increased to €163 billion from €104 billion. Non-residents also increased their net purchases of euro area equity to €396 billion in the 12 months to May 2018, from €334 billion in the 12 months to May 2017. Their net sales of euro area debt securities increased to €181 billion (from €145 billion) in the same period.
Financial account of the euro area
In other investment, euro area residents’ net acquisitions of foreign assets amounted to €254 billion in the 12 months to May 2018 (decreasing from €277 billion in the 12 months to May 2017), while net incurrences of liabilities amounted to €284 billion (declining from €507 billion in the 12 months to May 2017). Both developments mainly reflected the operations of euro area other MFIs.
Monetary presentation of the balance of payments
According to the monetary presentation of the balance of payments (see Chart 3), the net external assets of euro area MFIs decreased by €73 billion in the 12 months to May 2018. This decrease in MFIs’ net external assets continued to be driven by non-MFI transactions related to net outflows in portfolio debt securities and direct investment which were only partly offset by the euro area’s current account surplus and net inflows in portfolio equity.
In May 2018 the Eurosystem’s stock of reserve assets increased to €697.7 billion from €677.1 billion in the previous month (see Table 3). This increase (€20.6 billion) was mainly due to positive price changes (€9.9 billion) and exchange rate changes (€8.5 billion), and to a lesser extent to net acquisitions of assets (€2.3 billion).
Reserve assets of the euro area
This press release incorporates revisions of the data for April 2018. These revisions have not significantly altered the figures previously published.
Next press releases:
- monthly balance of payments: 17 August 2018 (reference data up to June 2018)
- quarterly balance of payments and international investment position: 2 October 2018 (reference data up to the second quarter of 2018).
For media queries, please contact Philippe Rispal, tel.: +49 69 1344 5482.
The hyperlinks in the main body of the press release are dynamic. The data may therefore change with subsequent data releases as a result of revisions.
- 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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