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Balance of payments and international investment position

Balance of payments

The euro area balance of payments summarises all the transactions between euro area residents and non-residents, on a monthly and quarterly basis. Transactions between euro area residents are excluded.

The balance of payments consists of:

  • the current account (including the accounts for goods and services trade as well as the primary and secondary income accounts)

  • the capital account
  • the financial account (comprising direct investment, portfolio investment, financial derivatives, other investment and reserve assets)

The different accounts within the balance of payments are distinguished according to the nature of the economic resources (e.g. goods, services, income or financial resources) provided and received.

The balance of payments is based on a double-entry accounting system. Each transaction is recorded as consisting of two entries – a credit entry and a debit entry. The sum of the credit entries and the sum of the debit entries are the same.

International investment position

The international investment position shows the value of residents’ financial assets and liabilities vis-à-vis non-residents, including the same breakdowns as for the financial account, on a quarterly basis. The euro area international investment position shows the outstanding amount and composition of:

  • euro area residents’ financial claims on non-residents
  • euro area residents’ financial liabilities to non-residents

The difference between the assets and liabilities is the net international investment position and represents either a net claim on, or a net liability to, non-euro area residents.

The international accounts offer a full reconciliation of the changes of the international investment position into transactions, revaluations (price and exchange rate changes) and other volume changes.


Press releases

BoP and i.i.p. statistical press releases Release calendar for BoP. and i.i.p. statistics


Sources and methods

The concepts and definitions used for the balance of payments and international investment position are in line with the following international statistical standards:

European Union Balance of Payments and International Investment Position statistical sources and methods - “B.o.p. and i.i.p. e-book”, October 2023

IMF’s Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual, sixth edition (BPM6)

Additional methodological information

The exchange of balance of payments and international investment position statistics – BPM6 - "Booklet", April 2023

Euro area balance of payments and international investment position compilation: balancing mechanisms, October 2020

Geographical allocation of euro area portfolio investment liabilities: estimates of outstanding amounts and associated income flows, April 2019

Estimation of euro currency in circulation outside the euro area, April 2017

Estimation of euro area balance of payments and international investment positions: extending the BPM6 series, April 2017

Quality reports

The Quality Report on euro area and national balance of payments and international investment position statistics is published every two years. The report focuses on the collection, compilation and dissemination of the statistics.

Selected features

Monetary presentation

The monetary presentation of the balance of payments is a tool for assessing the impact of balance of payments transactions involving euro area non-monetary financial institutions (non-MFIs) on monetary developments.

The principle underlying this presentation is the link between the external counterpart of money (M3), as reflected in the balance sheet of the MFI sector, and the transactions of the MFI sector included in the balance of payments.

Occasional Paper No 238 of February 2020: Revisiting the monetary presentation of the euro area balance of payments

Seasonal adjustment

Within the balance of payments, the current account components are seasonally adjusted on a monthly basis. Where appropriate, these data are also adjusted for working day effects, as well as for the impact of leap years and Easter.

Monthly seasonal adjustment of euro area balance of payments statistics

Geographic details – focus on Russia

The balance of payments and international investment position statistics can support the analysis of the impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and of the subsequent sanctions against Russia. The “Focus on Russia” section on our dashboard provides such data for the euro area and its member countries.

International role of the euro

The international role of the euro report is published annually and reviews the use of the euro in global markets and by residents of countries outside the euro area. The statistical annex includes payment transactions for goods and services and financial market transactions with euro area residents or with other non-residents.

The international role of the euro

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic and measures to contain it also had an impact on the compilation of multi-source statistics, such as the balance of payments. This short report analyses the implications.

Some considerations on the possible impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on balance of payments statistics

Legal framework

External transactions and positions


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