- Press release
Euro area monthly balance of payments: May 2021
20 July 2021
- Current account recorded €12 billion surplus in May 2021, down from €22 billion in previous month
- Current account surplus amounted to €310 billion (2.7% of euro area GDP) in 12 months to May 2021, up from €228 billion (2.0%) one year earlier
- In financial account, euro area residents’ net acquisitions of non-euro area portfolio investment securities totalled €950 billion and non-residents’ net acquisitions of euro area portfolio investment securities totalled €187 billion in 12 months to May 2021
Euro area current account balance
The current account of the euro area recorded a surplus of €12 billion in May 2021, a decrease of €10 billion from the previous month (Chart 1 and Table 1). Surpluses were recorded for goods (€25 billion) and services (€6 billion). These were partly offset by deficits for secondary income (€14 billion) and primary income (€5 billion).
Current account of the euro area
In the 12 months to May 2021, the current account recorded a surplus of €310 billion (2.7% of euro area GDP), compared with a surplus of €228 billion (2.0% of euro area GDP) in the 12 months to May 2020. This increase was driven by a larger surplus for goods (up from €309 billion to €375 billion) and for services (up from €39 billion to €76 billion). These developments were partly offset by a reduction in the surplus for primary income (down from €38 billion to €27 billion) and a larger deficit for secondary income (up from €158 billion to €168 billion).
Selected items of the euro area financial account
In direct investment, euro area residents made net investments of €28 billion in non-euro area assets in the 12-month period to May 2021, following net disinvestments of €72 billion in the 12 months to May 2020 (Chart 2 and Table 2). Non-residents’ net investments in euro area assets decreased to €53 billion in the 12-month period to May 2021, down from €152 billion in the 12 months to May 2020.
In portfolio investment, net purchases of non-euro area debt securities by euro area residents increased to €427 billion in the 12-month period to May 2021, following net purchases of €407 billion in the 12 months to May 2020. Over the same period, euro area residents’ net purchases of non-euro area equity increased to €522 billion from €91 billion in the 12 months to May 2020. Non-residents made net sales of euro area debt securities amounting to €79 billion in the 12 months to May 2021, following net purchases of €131 billion in the 12 months to May 2020. Over the same period, non-residents’ net purchases of euro area equity increased to €266 billion from €212 billion in the 12 months to May 2020.
Financial account of the euro area
In other investment, euro area residents recorded net disposals of non-euro area assets amounting to €16 billion in the 12 months to May 2021 (following net acquisitions of €382 billion in the 12 months to May 2020), while their net incurrence of liabilities increased to €330 billion from €196 billion.
Monetary presentation of the balance of payments
The monetary presentation of the balance of payments (Chart 3) shows that the net external assets (enhanced) of euro area MFIs decreased by €36 billion in the 12-month period to May 2021. This decrease was driven by euro area non-MFIs’ net outflows in portfolio investment debt and portfolio investment equity. These developments were mainly offset by the current and capital accounts surplus and, to a lesser extent, by the euro area non-MFIs’ net inflows in direct investment, other investment and other flows.
In May 2021 the Eurosystem’s stock of reserve assets increased to €885.5 billion, up from €852.1 billion in the previous month (Table 3). This increase was driven by positive changes in the price of gold (€34.1 billion) and, to a lesser extent, by net acquisitions of assets (€1.4 billion), which were partly offset by negative exchange rate changes (€2.2 billion).
Reserve assets of the euro area
This press release incorporates revisions to the data for April 2021. These revisions did not significantly alter the figures previously published.
- Monthly balance of payments: 19 August 2021 (reference data up to the June 2021)
- Quarterly balance of payments and international investment position: 4 October 2021 (reference data up to the second 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.