Euro area monthly balance of payments: November 2020

Europe
    • Current account recorded €25 billion surplus in November 2020, down from €26 billion in previous month
    • Current account surplus amounted to €231 billion (2.0% of euro area GDP) in 12 months to November 2020, down from €278 billion (2.3%) one year earlier
    • In financial account, euro area residents’ net acquisitions of foreign portfolio investment securities totalled €526 billion and non-residents’ net acquisitions of euro area portfolio investment securities totalled €231 billion in 12 months to November 2020


The current account of the euro area recorded a surplus of €25 billion in November 2020, decreasing by €1 billion from the previous month (see Chart 1 and Table 1). Surpluses were recorded for goods (€34 billion), services (€9 billion) and primary income (€1 billion). These were partly offset by a deficit for secondary income (€20 billion).

Dataforthecurrentaccountoftheeuroarea

In the 12 months to November 2020, the current account recorded a surplus of €231 billion (2.0% of euro area GDP), compared with a surplus of €278 billion (2.3% of euro area GDP) in the 12 months to November 2019. This decline was driven by reductions in the surpluses for services (down from €65 billion to €26 billion) and for primary income (down from €53 billion to €24 billion). These developments were partly offset by a larger surplus for goods (up from €320 billion to €335 billion) and a smaller deficit for secondary income (down from €159 billion to €155 billion).

In direct investment, euro area residents made net disinvestments of €23 billion in non-euro area assets in the 12-month period to November 2020, following net disinvestments of €65 billion in the 12 months to November 2019 (see Chart 2 and Table 2). Non-residents made net investments in euro area assets of €101 billion in the 12-month period to November 2020, after net investments of €7 billion in the 12 months to November 2019.

In portfolio investment, net purchases of foreign debt securities by euro area residents decreased to €363 billion in the 12-month period to November 2020, following net purchases of €373 billion in the 12 months to November 2019. Over the same period, euro area residents’ net purchases of foreign equity increased to €164 billion from €24 billion in the 12 months to November 2019. Non-residents made net purchases of euro area debt securities amounting to €126 billion in the 12 months to November 2020, following net purchases of €124 billion in the 12 months to November 2019. Over the same period, non-residents’ net purchases of euro area equity decreased to €106 billion from €303 billion in the 12 months to November 2019.

Dataforthefinancialaccountoftheeuroarea

In other investment, euro area residents’ net acquisitions of foreign assets increased to €359 billion in the 12 months to November 2020 (following net acquisitions of €350 billion in the 12 months to November 2019), while their net incurrence of liabilities increased to €340 billion from €30 billion.

The monetary presentation of the balance of payments (see Chart 3) shows that the net external assets (enhanced) of euro area MFIs increased by €10 billion in the 12-month period to November 2020. This increase was driven by the current and capital accounts surplus and non-MFIs’ net inflows in direct investment. These developments were almost fully offset by euro area non-MFIs’ net outflows in portfolio investment equity and in other investment.

 

In November 2020 the Eurosystem’s stock of reserve assets decreased to €859.4 billion, down from €914.7 billion in the previous month (see Table 3). This decrease was mostly driven by negative gold price changes (€47.1 billion) and, to a lesser extent, by negative exchange rate changes (€6.0 billion) and net sales of assets (€2.6 billion).

Data for the reserve assets of the euro area

Datarevisions

This press release incorporates revisions to the data for October 2020. These revisions did not significantly alter the figures previously published.

 

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