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

Up to May 2020 the combined current and capital account balance stood at -€2496 million, compared with -€1717 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 five months of the year, in spite of the negative contribution to the overall balance, the deficit of the goods account reduced by €903 million when compared to the same period of 2019. However, the services account surplus decreased by €2649 million. This reduction was mainly caused by the reduction of travel item which decrease €2060 million. Up to May, the exports of goods and services decreased by 22.2% (17.7% in goods and 31.0% in services) and the imports reduced by 17.1% (16.7% in goods and 18.7% in services).

In May, the exports and imports of goods and services showed severe reductions comparing to the same period of 2019 (47.1% and 39.1% respectively). In this month, the reduction of the travel balance  by €1003 million was a consequence of the decrease of 83.3% in exports and 61.6% in imports (Chart 3).

Between January and May of 2020, the primary income deficit decreased by €643 million, when compared with the previous year, reaching -€2041 million. This decrease of the deficit was mainly caused by the decrease in investment income payments to non-residents. On the other hand, the secondary income surplus decrease by €43 million, as a result of increase on the financial contribution paid by Portugal to the European Union, compared to the same period one year earlier. The capital account balance increased €367 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 May, the financial account balance saw a €2783 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, the banks and the insurance corporations increased assets over non-resident entities, in debt securities issued by member states of Economic and Monetary Union.

Next update: 19 Aug. 2020