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Statistical Press Release – Balance of payments - August 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 August 2020.

Up to August 2020 the combined current and capital account balance stood at -€887 million, compared with €1146 million in the same period in 2019 (Chart 1).

The balance attained up to August was 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 eight months of the year the deficit of the goods account reduced by €3118 million when compared to the same period of 2019. However, the services account surplus decreased by €6527 million. This decrease was mainly caused by the substantial reduction of the travel item by €5602 million. Up to August, the exports of goods and services decreased by 23.6% (13.6% in goods and 39.7% in services) and the imports reduced by 18.4% (16.9% in goods and 25% in services). 

In August, the exports and imports of goods and services showed reductions comparing to the same period of 2019, by 25.3% and 15.7% respectively, reflecting a reduction of the travel balance by €1313 million, as a consequence of the decrease of 51.8% in exports and 40.7% in imports (Chart 3).

Between January and August of 2020, the primary income deficit decreased by €1227 million, when compared with the previous year, reaching -€2380 million. This decrease of the deficit was mainly caused by the decline in investment income payments to non-residents. The secondary income surplus decreased by €93 million, as a result of the evolution on current transfers. On the other hand, the capital account balance increased €242 million, when compared to the same period of 2019, mainly due to an increase of the EU funds received.

Up to August 2020, the financial account balance saw a €703 million decrease in net foreign assets in Portugal (Chart 4). This was mainly due to an increase in Banco de Portugal liabilities vis-à-vis the Eurosystem, and the investment of non-residents in Portuguese public debt securities. In contrast, the banks and the insurance corporations and pension funds increased assets over non-resident entities, namely in debt securities issued by member states of the Monetary Union, and non-residents decreased their deposits in banks located in Portugal.

Next update: 18 Nov. 2020