The FINANCIAL — In the third quarter of 2020, the EU seasonally adjusted current account of the balance of payments recorded a surplus of €75.6 billion (2.2% of GDP), down from a surplus of €87.6 billion (2.9% of GDP) in the second quarter of 2020 and from a surplus of €100.3 billion (2.9% of GDP) in the third quarter of 2019, according to estimates released by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.
In the third quarter of 2020 compared with the second quarter of 2020, based on seasonally adjusted data, the surplus of the goods account increased (+€91.6 bn compared to +€48.8 bn). The surplus of the services account fell (+€9.7 bn compared to +€23.8 bn), while the surplus of the primary income account moved to a deficit (-€7.2 bn compared to +€28.5 bn). The deficit of the secondary income account grew (-€18.5 bn compared to -€13.4 bn), while the deficit of the capital account decreased (-€4.2 bn compared to -€8.7 bn).
In the third quarter of 2020, based on non-seasonally adjusted data, the EU recorded external current account surpluses with the United Kingdom (+€54.6 bn), the USA (+€32.7 bn), Switzerland (+€11.3 bn), Canada (+€6.6 bn), Brazil and Hong Kong (both +€6.2 bn), Russia (+€5.3 bn), India and Japan (both +€0.6 bn). Deficits were registered with China (-€29.2 bn) and the offshore financial centres (-€8.0 bn).
Based on non-seasonally adjusted data, direct investment assets of the EU increased in the third quarter of 2020 by €45.5 bn, while direct investment liabilities fell by €16.0 bn. As a result, the EU was a net direct investor to rest of the world in the third quarter of 2020 by €61.5 bn. Portfolio investment recorded a net inflow of €41.9 bn, while for other investment there was a net outflow of €112.9 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, nineteen recorded surpluses and eight deficits in the third quarter of 2020. The highest surpluses were observed in Germany (+€62.9 bn), Italy (+€25.3 bn), the Netherlands (+€17.0 bn), Ireland (+€12.7 bn) and Sweden (+€6.5 bn), and the largest deficits in France (-€11.4 bn), Romania (-€3.9 bn) and Belgium (-€2.6 bn).