- Press release
Euro area monthly balance of payments: February 2021
19 April 2021
- Current account recorded €26 billion surplus in February 2021, down from €35 billion in previous month
- Current account surplus amounted to €259 billion (2.3% of euro area GDP) in 12 months to February 2021, down from €263 billion (2.2%) one year earlier
- In financial account, euro area residents’ net acquisitions of foreign portfolio investment securities totalled €804 billion and non-residents’ net sales of euro area portfolio investment securities totalled €21 billion in 12 months to February 2021
Euro area current account balance
Current account of the euro area
In the 12 months to February 2021, the current account recorded a surplus of €259 billion (2.3% of euro area GDP), compared with a surplus of €263 billion (2.2% of euro area GDP) in the 12 months to February 2020. This decline was driven by a reduction in the surplus for primary income (down from €48 billion to €18 billion) and an increase in the deficit for secondary income (up from €151 billion to €167 billion). These developments were partly offset by larger surpluses for services (up from €36 billion to €58 billion) and for goods (up from €330 billion to €350 billion).
Selected items of the euro area financial account
In direct investment, euro area residents made net disinvestments of €16 billion in non-euro area assets in the 12-month period to February 2021, compared with net disinvestments of €10 billion in the 12 months to February 2020 (see Chart 2 and Table 2). Non-residents’ net investments in euro area assets increased to €168 billion in the 12-month period to February 2021, up from €107 billion in the 12 months to February 2020.
In portfolio investment, net purchases of foreign debt securities by euro area residents increased to €443 billion in the 12-month period to February 2021, following net purchases of €390 billion in the 12 months to February 2020. Over the same period, euro area residents’ net purchases of foreign equity increased to €361 billion from €81 billion in the 12 months to February 2020. Non-residents made net disposals of euro area debt securities amounting to €119 billion in the 12 months to February 2021, following net purchases of €230 billion in the 12 months to February 2020. Over the same period, non-residents’ net purchases of euro area equity decreased to €97 billion from €344 billion in the 12 months to February 2020.
Financial account of the euro area
In other investment, euro area residents recorded net disposals of foreign assets amounting to €63 billion in the 12 months to February 2021 (following net purchases of €549 billion in the 12 months to February 2020), while their net incurrence of liabilities increased to €255 billion from €187 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 decreased by €78 billion in the 12-month period to February 2021. This decrease was mainly driven by euro area non-MFIs’ net outflows in portfolio investment equity and portfolio investment debt. These developments were partly offset by the current and capital accounts surplus and, to a lesser extent, euro area non-MFIs’ net inflows in direct investment and other flows.
In February 2021 the Eurosystem’s stock of reserve assets decreased to €848.6 billion, down from €880.2 billion in the previous month (see Table 3). This decrease was driven by negative changes in the price of gold (€29.4 billion) and to a lesser extent by net disposals of assets (€1.6 billion).
Reserve assets of the euro area
This press release incorporates revisions to the data for January 2021, which mainly affect direct investment. In addition, it includes revisions to the seasonally adjusted current account components from January 2008 onwards due to the incorporation of newly estimated seasonal and calendar factors. These latter revisions did not significantly alter the figures previously published.
- Monthly balance of payments: 20 May 2021 (reference data up to March 2021)
- Quarterly balance of payments and international investment position: 5 July 2021 (reference data up to the first quarter of 2021)
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.