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  • Press release

Euro area monthly balance of payments: April 2022

21 June 2022

  • Current account deficit increased to €6 billion in April 2022, up from €2 billion in previous month
  • Current account surplus amounted to €182 billion (1.5% of euro area GDP) in 12 months to April 2022, down from €316 billion (2.7%) one year earlier
  • In financial account, euro area residents’ net acquisitions of non-euro area portfolio investment securities totalled €348 billion and non-residents’ net acquisitions of euro area portfolio investment securities totalled €84 billion in 12 months to April 2022

Chart 1

Euro area current account balance

(EUR billions unless otherwise indicated; working day and seasonally adjusted data)

Source: ECB.

The current account of the euro area recorded a deficit of €6 billion in April 2022, following a deficit of €2 billion in the previous month (Chart 1 and Table 1). Deficits were recorded for secondary income (€14 billion), goods (€3 billion) and primary income (€1 billion). These were partly offset by a surplus for services (€12 billion).

Table 1

Current account of the euro area

(EUR billions unless otherwise indicated; transactions; working day and seasonally adjusted data)

Source: ECB.

Note: Discrepancies between totals and their components may be due to rounding.

Data for the current account of the euro area

In the 12 months to April 2022, the current account recorded a surplus of €182 billion (1.5% of euro area GDP), compared with a surplus of €316 billion (2.7% of euro area GDP) in the 12 months to April 2021. This decline was driven by a reduction in the surplus for goods (down from €371 billion to €167 billion). This development was partly offset by larger surpluses for services (up from €74 billion to €120 billion) and primary income (up from €39 billion to €48 billion) and a smaller deficit for secondary income (down from €168 billion to €153 billion).

Chart 2

Selected items of the euro area financial account

(EUR billions; 12-month cumulated data)

Source: ECB.

Notes: For assets, a positive (negative) number indicates net purchases (sales) of non-euro area instruments by euro area investors. For liabilities, a positive (negative) number indicates net sales (purchases) of euro area instruments by non-euro area investors.

In direct investment, euro area residents made net investments of €133 billion in non-euro area assets in the 12-month period to April 2022, following net investments of €179 billion in the 12 months to April 2021 (Chart 2 and Table 2). At the same time, non-residents disinvested €108 billion in net terms from euro area assets in the 12-month period to April 2022, following net acquisitions of €200 billion in the 12 months to April 2021.

In portfolio investment, euro area residents’ net purchases of non-euro area equity decreased to €106 billion in the 12 months to April 2022, down from €540 billion in the 12 months to April 2021. Over the same period, net purchases of non-euro area debt securities by euro area residents decreased to €242 billion, from €452 billion in the 12 months to April 2021. Non-residents’ net purchases of euro area equity decreased to €309 billion in the 12-month period to April 2022, down from € 344 billion in the 12 months to April 2021. Over the same period non-residents made net sales of euro area debt securities amounting to €225 billion, following net sales of €42 billion in the 12 months to April 2021.

Table 2

Financial account of the euro area

(EUR billions unless otherwise indicated; transactions; non-working day and non-seasonally adjusted data)

Source: ECB.

Notes: Decreases in assets and liabilities are shown with a minus sign. Net financial derivatives are reported under assets. “MFIs” stands for monetary financial institutions. Discrepancies between totals and their components may be due to rounding.

Data for the financial account of the euro area

In other investment, euro area residents recorded net acquisitions of non-euro area assets amounting to €191 billion in the 12 months to April 2022 (following net disposals of €115 billion in the 12 months to April 2021), while their net incurrence of liabilities increased to €738 billion (up from €202 billion in the 12 months to April 2021).

Chart 3

Monetary presentation of the balance of payments

(EUR billions; 12-month cumulated data)

Source: ECB.

Notes: “MFI net external assets (enhanced)” incorporates an adjustment to the MFI net external assets (as reported in the consolidated MFI balance sheet items statistics) based on information on MFI long-term liabilities held by non-residents, available in b.o.p. statistics. B.o.p. transactions refer only to transactions of non-MFI residents of the euro area. Financial transactions are shown as liabilities net of assets. “Other” includes financial derivatives and statistical discrepancies.

The monetary presentation of the balance of payments (Chart 3) shows that the net external assets (enhanced) of euro area MFIs decreased by €270 billion in the 12-month period to April 2022. This decrease was mainly driven by euro area non-MFIs’ net outflows in portfolio investment debt and direct investment. These developments were partly offset by the current and capital accounts surplus and by euro area non-MFIs’ net inflows in portfolio investment equity and other investment.

In April 2022 the Eurosystem’s stock of reserve assets increased to €1144.2 billion, up from €1102.8 billion in the previous month (Table 3). This increase was driven by positive price changes (€26.6 billion, mainly due to a €27.4 billion price increase for monetary gold) and exchange rate changes (€15.7 billion).

Table 3

Reserve assets of the euro area

(EUR billions; amounts outstanding at the end of the period, flows during the period; non-working day and non-seasonally adjusted data)

Source: ECB.

Notes: “Other reserve assets” comprises currency and deposits, securities, financial derivatives (net) and other claims. Discrepancies between totals and their components may be due to rounding.

Data for the reserve assets of the euro area

Data revisions

This press release does not incorporate revisions to the data for previous periods.

Next releases:

  • Quarterly balance of payments and international investment position: 5 July 2022 (reference data up to the first quarter of 2022)
  • Monthly balance of payments: 20 July 2022 (reference data up to May 2022)

For media queries, please contact Philippe Rispal, tel.: +49 69 1344 5482.

Notes

  • 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.
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