EU current account surplus €59.9 billionChristian Fernsby ▼ | July 8, 2020
In the first quarter of 2020, when coronavirus containment measures began to be widely introduced by Member States, the EU seasonally adjusted current account of the balance of payments recorded a surplus of €59.9 billion (1.8% of GDP).
GDP Europe street
In the first quarter of 2020 compared with the fourth quarter of 2019, based on seasonally adjusted data, the surplus of the goods account decreased (+€82.3 bn compared to +€88.0 bn), while the surplus of the services account moved to deficit (-€3.1 bn compared to +€9.6 bn).
Deficit of the primary income account grew (-€4.8 bn compared to -€2.6 bn), while the deficit of the secondary income account fell (-€14.5 bn compared to -€16.4 bn).
The deficit of the capital account decreased (-€4.3 bn compared to -€8.7 bn).
In the first quarter of 2020, based on non-seasonally adjusted data, the EU recorded external current account surpluses with the United Kingdom (+€57.6 bn), the USA (+€37.7 bn), Switzerland (+€18.3 bn), Canada (+€7.2 bn), Brazil (+€4.8 bn) and Hong Kong (+€3.5 bn).
Deficits were registered with China (-€24.6 bn), offshore financial centres (-€11.6 bn), Russia (-€4.8 bn), India (-€1.8 bn) and Japan (-€1.1 bn).
Based on non-seasonally adjusted data, direct investment assets of the EU decreased in the first quarter of 2020 by €40.2 bn, while direct investment liabilities fell by €32.3 bn. As a result, the EU was a net recipient of direct investment from rest of the world in the first quarter of 2020 by €7.9 bn.
Portfolio investment recorded a net inflow of €218.4 bn, while for other investment there was a net outflow of €236.5 bn.
Current account of Member States (including intra-EU flows)
As concerns the total (intra-EU plus extra-EU) current account balances of the EU Member States, based on available non-seasonally adjusted data, sixteen recorded surpluses, ten deficits and one was in balance in the first quarter of 2020.
The highest surpluses were observed in Germany (+€66.0 bn), the Netherlands (+€23.1 bn), Sweden (+€7.6 bn), Italy (+€6.5 bn) and Austria (+€5.1 bn), and the largest deficits in France (-€17.9 bn), Ireland (-€15.2 bn) and Greece (-€3.5 bn).
The European Union (EU27) includes Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechia, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland and Sweden.
The euro area (EA19) includes Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia and Finland. ■