Euro area balance of payments in September 2012

Frankfurt am Main, (PresseBox) - In September 2012 the seasonally adjusted current account of the euro area recorded a surplus of €0.8 billion.

In the financial account, combined direct and portfolio investment recorded net outflows of €3.6 billion (nonseasonally adjusted).

Current account

The seasonally adjusted current account of the euro area recorded a surplus of €0.8 billion in September 2012 (see Table 1). This reflected surpluses for goods (€4.5 billion) and services (€6.4 billion), which were partially offset by a deficit for current transfers (€10.1 billion). The income account was in balance.

The 12-month cumulated seasonally adjusted current account recorded a surplus of €77.8 billion in September 2012 (around 0.8% of euro area GDP - see Table 1 and Chart 1), compared with a deficit of €7.6 billion a year earlier (around 0.1% of euro area GDP). This resulted from a shift for goods from deficit (€4.1 billion) to surplus (€71.0 billion) and an increase in the surplus for services (from €61.2 billion to €83.2 billion). These changes were offset by a decrease in the surplus for income (from €40.0 billion to €34.3 billion) and an increase in the deficit for current transfers (from €104.7 billion to €110.7 billion).

Financial account

In the financial account (see Table 2), combined direct and portfolio investment recorded net outflows of €4 billion in September 2012, as a result of net outflows for direct investment (€9 billion) that were partially offset by net inflows for portfolio investment (€5 billion).

The net outflows for direct investment mainly resulted from net outflows in other capital (mostly intercompany loans) (€13 billion).

The net inflows for portfolio investment mostly resulted from net inflows for debt instruments (€5 billion), which reflected net purchases of euro area bonds and notes by non-residents (€42 billion) and net sales of euro area money market instruments by non-residents (€21 billion).

The financial derivatives account recorded net outflows of €3 billion.

Other investment recorded net outflows of €2 billion, mainly reflecting net outflows for both the Eurosystem and other sectors (both €6 billion), which were partly offset by net inflows for MFIs excluding the Eurosystem (€8 billion).

The Eurosystem's stock of reserve assets increased by €18 billion in September 2012 (from €716 billion to €734 billion), mainly on account of an increase in the market price of gold. Transactions in September 2012 contributed to a decrease of €1 billion in the overall position.

In the 12-month period to September 2012 combined direct and portfolio investment recorded cumulated net outflows of €56 billion, compared with net inflows of €266 billion in the preceding 12-month period.

This shift was largely the result of lower net inflows for portfolio investment (down from €319 billion to €21 billion), which in turn reflected a shift for debt instruments from net inflows (€192 billion) to net outflows (€86 billion).

Data revisions

This press release incorporates revisions to the data for August 2012. These revisions have not significantly altered the figures previously published for the current, capital and financial accounts.

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