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Statistical Press Release – Balance of payments - April 2020

Today, Banco de Portugal publishes statistics, in Tables A.16 and A.17 of the Statistical Bulletin and in BPstat, on balance of payments for April 2020.

Up to April 2020 the combined current and capital account balance stood at -€864 million, compared with -€201 million in the same period in 2019 (Chart 1).

These developments were due to the deficit of goods and primary income accounts, partially offset by the surplus of services, secondary income and capital accounts (Chart 2).

In the first four months of the year, the goods account deficit reduced by €379 million when compared to the same period of 2019 and the services account surplus decreased by €1371 million, of which. From this reduction, €1057 million were due to the travel item, as a result of the negative evolution observed in April. In this month, the reduction of the travel balance  by €825 million was a consequence of the decrease of 85.4% in exports and 74.2% in imports, when compared to April 2019 (Chart 3).

Up to April, exports of goods and services decreased by 15.0% (11.9% in goods and 21.4% in services) and imports reduced by 11.2% (10.8% in goods and 13.0% in services). This result was greatly driven by the month of April with severe reductions on both exports and imports of goods and services (46.5% in exports and 38.3% in imports).

The primary income deficit rose by €117 million, when compared with the previous period, reaching -€536 million, due to the decrease in investment income received from non-residents. On the other hand, the secondary income surplus rose by €117 million as a result of the increase of social benefits received from abroad and of the decrease on the financial contribution paid by Portugal to the European Union, compared to the same period one year earlier. The capital account balance increased €276 million, when compared to the same period of 2019, due to an increase of the EU funds received and to a decrease on the acquisition of intangible assets.

Up to April, the financial account balance saw a €1356 million decrease in net foreign assets in Portugal (Chart 4). This was chiefly due to an increase in liabilities, mainly from the investment of non-residents in Portuguese public debt securities. In contrast, Banco de Portugal decreased its liabilities vis-à-vis the Eurosystem and the banks increased assets over non-resident entities, in debt securities and deposits abroad.

Next update: 20 Jul. 2020