- Press release
Euro area monthly balance of payments: October 2020
18 December 2020
- Current account recorded €27 billion surplus in October 2020, up from €25 billion in previous month
- Current account surplus amounted to €228 billion (2.0% of euro area GDP) in 12 months to October 2020, down from €272 billion (2.3%) one year earlier
- In financial account, euro area residents’ net acquisitions of foreign portfolio investment securities totalled €473 billion and non-residents’ net acquisitions of euro area portfolio investment securities totalled €344 billion in 12 months to October 2020
Euro area current account balance
The current account of the euro area recorded a surplus of €27 billion in October 2020, increasing by €2 billion from the previous month (see Chart 1 and Table 1). Surpluses were recorded for goods (€35 billion) and services (€9 billion). Deficits were recorded for secondary income (€12 billion) and primary income (€5 billion).
Current account of the euro area
In the 12 months to October 2020, the current account recorded a surplus of €228 billion (2.0% of euro area GDP), compared with a surplus of €272 billion (2.3% of euro area GDP) in the 12 months to October 2019. This decline was driven by reductions in the surpluses for services (down from €69 billion to €27 billion) and for primary income (down from €55 billion to €16 billion). These developments were partly offset by a larger surplus for goods (up from €311 billion to €331 billion) and a smaller deficit for secondary income (down from €163 billion to €146 billion).
Selected items of the euro area financial account
In direct investment, euro area residents made net disinvestments of €82 billion in non-euro area assets in the 12-month period to October 2020, following net disinvestments of €161 billion in the 12 months to October 2019 (see Chart 2 and Table 2). Non-residents made net investments in euro area assets of €127 billion in the 12-month period to October 2020, after net disinvestments of €75 billion in the 12 months to October 2019.
In portfolio investment, net purchases of foreign debt securities by euro area residents decreased to €288 billion in the 12-month period to October 2020, following net purchases of €329 billion in the 12 months to October 2019. Over the same period, euro area residents made net purchases of foreign equity of €185 billion, after recording net sales of €10 billion in the 12 months to October 2019. Non-residents made net purchases of euro area debt securities amounting to €183 billion in the 12 months to October 2020, following net purchases of €123 billion in the 12 months to October 2019. Over the same period, non-residents’ net purchases of euro area equity decreased to €161 billion from €251 billion in the 12 months to October 2019.
Financial account of the euro area
In other investment, euro area residents’ net acquisitions of foreign assets decreased to €272 billion in the 12 months to October 2020 (following net acquisitions of €398 billion in the 12 months to October 2019), while their net incurrence of liabilities increased to €118 billion from €74 billion.
Monetary presentation of the balance of payments
The monetary presentation of the balance of payments (see Chart 3) shows that the net external assets (enhanced) of euro area MFIs increased by €39 billion in the 12-month period to October 2020. This increase was driven by the current and capital accounts surplus and non-MFIs’ net inflows in direct investment and, to a lesser extent, portfolio investment debt securities. These developments were partly offset by euro area non-MFIs’ net outflows in other investment, portfolio investment equity and other flows.
In October 2020 the Eurosystem’s stock of reserve assets increased to €914.7 billion, up from €909.6 billion in the previous month (see Table 3). This increase was driven by net acquisitions of assets (€2.9 billion) and, to a lesser extent, by positive exchange rate changes (€1.4 billion) and price changes (€0.8 billion).
Reserve assets of the euro area
This press release does not incorporate revisions to previous periods.
- Quarterly balance of payments and international investment position: 12 January 2021 (reference data up to the third quarter of 2020)
- Monthly balance of payments: 19 January 2021 (reference data up to the November 2020)
For media queries, please contact Philippe Rispal, tel.: +49 69 1344 5482.
- Current account data are always seasonally and working day-adjusted, unless otherwise indicated, whereas capital and financial account data are neither seasonally nor working day-adjusted.
- Hyperlinks in this press release lead to data that may change with subsequent releases as a result of revisions.