Euro area monthly balance of payments: March 2023

Europe
  • Current account recorded €31 billion surplus in March 2023, up from €24 billion in previous month
  • Current account deficit amounted to €76 billion (0.6% of euro area GDP) in 12 months to March 2023, compared with a surplus of €189 billion (1.5%) one year earlier
  • In financial account, euro area residents’ net sales of non-euro area portfolio investment securities totalled €181 billion and non-residents’ net acquisitions of euro area portfolio investment securities totalled €162 billion in 12 months to March 2023

 

The current account of the euro area recorded a surplus of €31 billion in March 2023, an increase of €7 billion from the previous month (Chart 1 and Table 1). Surpluses were recorded for goods (€41 billion) and services (€5 billion). Deficits were recorded for secondary income (€14 billion) and primary income (€1 billion).

Data for the current account of the euro area

In the 12 months to March 2023, the current account recorded a deficit of €76 billion (0.6% of euro area GDP), compared with a surplus of €189 billion (1.5% of euro area GDP) one year earlier. This development was mainly driven by a switch from a surplus (€181 billion) to a deficit (€4 billion) for goods, a switch from a surplus (€49 billion) to a deficit (€19 billion) for primary income, and, to a lesser extent, by a larger deficit for secondary income (up from €156 billion to €164 billion) and a reduction in the surplus for services (down from €115 billion to €111 billion).

In direct investment, euro area residents made net disinvestments of €179 billion in non-euro area assets in the 12 months to March 2023, following net investments of €109 billion one year earlier (Chart 2 and Table 2). Non-residents disinvested €328 billion in net terms from euro area assets in the 12 months to March 2023, following net disinvestments of €85 billion one year earlier.

In portfolio investment, euro area residents’ net sales of non-euro area equity amounted to €149 billion in the 12 months to March 2023, following net purchases of €186 billion one year earlier. Over the same period, net sales of non-euro area debt securities by euro-area residents amounted to €32 billion, following net purchases of €321 billion one year earlier. Non-residents’ net purchases of euro area equity decreased to €135 billion in the 12 months to March 2023, down from €485 billion one year earlier. Over the same period, non-residents made net purchases of euro area debt securities amounting to €27 billion, following net sales of €187 billion one year earlier.

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 €35 billion in the 12 months to March 2023 (down from €424 billion one year earlier), while they recorded net disposals of liabilities amounting to €176 billion (following net acquisitions of €816 billion one year earlier).

 

The monetary presentation of the balance of payments (Chart 3) shows that the net external assets (enhanced) of euro area MFIs increased by €39 billion in the 12 months to March 2023. This increase was mainly driven by euro area non-MFIs’ net inflows in portfolio investment equity and portfolio investment debt, and the current and capital accounts surplus. These developments were partly offset by euro area non-MFIs’ net outflows in direct investment and other investment.

In March 2023 the Eurosystem’s stock of reserve assets increased to €1,133.1 billion, up from €1,096.2 billion in the previous month (Table 3). This increase was driven by positive price changes (€42.8 billion), primarily for monetary gold, and, to a lesser extent, by net acquisitions of assets (€1.6 billion) which were partly offset by negative exchange rate changes (€7.9 billion).

Data for the reserve assets of the euro area

Data revisions

This press release incorporates revisions to the data for January and February 2023. These revisions did not significantly alter the figures previously published.

 

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