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Euro area current account surplus steady at 3.1% of GDP in September

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Staff Writer | November 19, 2018
The single currency bloc's surplus in its current transactions with the rest of the world was unchanged in September versus a year earlier.
European Central Bank
Europe   European Central Bank
According to the European Central Bank, the Eurozone's current account surplus narrowed in September to reach €17.0bn, versus €24bn in the month before and €40bn for the same month of 2017.

The main factor behind the reduced surplus was an increase in the single currency area's imports of goods and services and a small increase in primary income payments.

However, at €357bn for over the 12 months ending in September, the surplus was unchanged from the year before at 3.1% of the bloc's gross domestic product.

Over that same time frame, and looking at the financial account, euro area residents dialed-back on their purchases of foreign portfolio investments, from €572bn to €324bn.

Non-residents meanwhile pared their purchases of euro area portfolio instruments from €267bn to €98bn.

Net portfolio inflows over the year to September declined from €305bn to €227bn, even as those linked to direct investments, defined as an investor acquiring a stake of at least 10% in a business, picked-up from €109bn to €150bn.

The Eurosystem's stock of reserve assets meanwhile was little changed at €673.9bn for September, in comparison to €674.9bn one year ago.