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

Up to September 2020 the combined current and capital account balance stood at -€709 million, compared with €1289 million in the same period in 2019 (Chart 1).

The balance attained up to September 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).

Up to September the exports of goods and services reduced by 22.9% (11.9% in goods and 40.3% in services) and the imports decreased by 17.8% (16.1% in goods and 24.6% in services). In this period, the goods account deficit decreased by €3887 million when compared to the same period of 2019, reaching €8777 million. Nevertheless, the services account surplus diminished by €7733 million, to €6300 million. Such reduction was justified mainly by the significant decrease on the travel item surplus, by €6523 million.

In September, the exports and imports of goods and services showed reductions comparing to the same period of 2019, by 17.4% and 11.2% respectively. It stood out the reduction of the travel balance by €920 million as compared to the same period of 2019, as a consequence of the decrease of 55.4% in exports and 39.1% in imports (Chart 3).

Between January and September of 2020, the primary income deficit decreased by €1738 million, when compared with the previous year, reaching -€2625 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 €144 million, as a result of the evolution of the current transfers. On the other hand, the capital account balance increased €255 million, when compared to the same period of the previous year, mainly due to an increase of the EU funds received.

Up to September 2020, the financial account balance saw a €458 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 by the United States.

Next update: 22 Dec. 2020