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Statistical Press Release – Balance of payments - December 2018

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 2018.

In 2018 the combined current and capital account balance stood at €903 million, less than the €2,699 million in the same period in 2017 (Chart 1).

These developments were chiefly due to the goods and primary income accounts, partly offset by the services account (Chart 2).


As in 2017, the goods and services accounts again moved in opposite directions.

The goods account deficit increased by €2,599 million. By contrast, the services account surplus grew by €1,099 million, mostly due to ‘Travel’, which went from €10,861 million to €11,910 million (Chart 3).

In the year as a whole, exports of goods and services grew by 5.8% (5.4% in goods and 6.5% in services). Imports increased by 7.9% (8.4% in goods and 6.0% in services).

In 2018 the primary income account deficit stood at €5,701 million, surpassing the €4,859 million deficit recorded in the previous year. This increase was mainly due to the increase in dividends paid to non-residents.

From January to December 2018, the financial account balance saw an increase in Portuguese net foreign assets of €1,448 million (Chart 4). This development materialised mainly through the reduction in general government liabilities with the early amortisation of €5,391 million, under the Economic and Financial Assistance Programme to Portugal, and through an increase in foreign assets of banks and insurance companies that invested in debt securities issued by non-residents. These were partly offset by an increase in liabilities caused by the investment of non-residents in non-financial corporations’ equity. 

Next update: 20 Mar. 2019