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Statistical Press Release – National financial accounts - 2nd quarter of 2019 and revision of national financial accounts and external statistics

Today, Banco de Portugal publishes, in Table A.6 of the Statistical Bulletin and in BPstat, national financial accounts data for the second quarter of 2019.

In the year ending in the second quarter of 2019, net lending of the Portuguese economy stood at 0.4 per cent of GDP (Chart 1), maintaining the successive positive balances observed since the end of 2012.

This reflects the net lending of financial corporations, households and general government (3.0, 1.0 and 0.2 per cent of GDP respectively), which exceeded the net borrowing of non-financial corporations (-3.9 per cent of GDP).

Households were the only sector to show a reduction in net financial assets, which decreased by 0.4 percentage points of GDP year on year. This was due to the effect of GDP growth on this ratio.

At the end of the second quarter of 2019, the Portuguese economy had a net financial position vis à vis the rest of the world of -104.4 per cent of GDP (Chart 2), compared to -110.1 per cent of GDP at the end of the second quarter of 2018.

Revision of national financial accounts and external statistics

Banco de Portugal publishes today in the Statistical Bulletin and BPstat, new information on national financial accounts, from the fourth quarter of 1994 onwards, and on balance of payments, international investment position and external debt statistics from 1996 to July 2019. As announced in the statistical press release of 21 August 2019, Banco de Portugal and Instituto Nacional de Estatística (INE) prepared the benchmark revision of national accounts, which allowed for the increase of consistency between the non-financial component of national accounts, compiled by INE, and the financial component compiled by Banco de Portugal, as well as the consistency with the balance of payments also compiled by Banco de Portugal.

Revision of national financial accounts

From this publication onwards, data on national financial accounts are consistent with the 2016 benchmark year of the Portuguese national accounts, released by INE in 23 September 2019. This information reflect the update of basic data, improvements in compilation processes and methodological changes. Consistent quarterly data are, therefore, released from the fourth quarter of 1994 to the second quarter of 2019. These revisions do not significantly change the results that were previously published for financial stocks and transactions, either in terms of signal or evolution. 

In relation to financial transactions (Chart 3), in recent periods, a downwards revision of net lending of non-financial corporations, and an upwards revision of net borrowing of households and financial corporations can be observed. These revisions are consistent with the ones performed by INE in the non-financial accounts and reflect namely the incorporation of data on social benefits received by resident households from abroad, and the upwards revision of property income paid by non-financial corporations to households.


Chart 3 ● Net lending (+) / net borrowing (-) by institutional sector | percentage of GDP

Net financial assets (Chart 4) of non-financial corporations were revised downwards, mainly due to the change of the method for computing liabilities in equity, which now exclude corporations with negative own funds. This change led to the upwards revision of net financial assets of households, as owners of shares issued by corporations. Additionally, households benefit from the upwards revision of the instrument currency in their asset side, due to the change in the estimation method of notes and coins held by this sector.


Chart 4  Net financial assets by institutional sector | percentage of GDP

External statistics revisions

The external statistics revisions included an update of the existing data sources and methodologies, the use of new sources, improvements in the compilation process and reflect a greater consistency with the rest of the world account of INE’s responsibility.

The combined current and capital account balance (Chart 5) was revised upwards, in particular, over the past three years. In 2018, the balance revised about 1 percentage point, up to 1.4 per cent of GDP.

The main revision with a positive impact in the secondary income balance (Chart 6) was justified by the incorporation of administrative data concerning social benefits received from abroad.

In contrast, the balance of goods and services account was revised downwards, in particular starting 2012, reflecting the incorporation of complementary information on e-commerce. In addition, the downward revision of the balance of goods was justified by the inclusion of a broader range of economic, legal or illegal phenomena, as recommended by international manuals.

Other revisions, like the one incurred in “Travel”, due to methodological changes and due to the incorporation of new data sources, had a positive impact on the services account. This revision is mainly attributable to the incorporation of INE information in what concerns overnight stays that started to include local accommodation, as well as improvements in the appropriation of information from payment systems of Banco de Portugal.

In what concerns the financial account and the international investment position (IIP), major changes are related with the incorporation of a new methodology for the computation of both trade credits and interest accrued and not yet paid.

At the end of 2018, the IIP (Chart 7) reviewed -12 billion euros, and stood at -105.6 per cent of GDP, less than 5 percentage points when compared to the previous series. Contributing to this reduction were the above-mentioned revisions in the financial account as well as the change in the valuation of unlisted shares and other equity. This change contributed to the downward revision of the IIP as revisions in Portuguese companies' stock of liabilities are higher than revisions in stock of assets.

In addition, a new source of administrative information was adopted for the purchase and sale of real estate between residents and non-residents in order to reflect the dynamics felt in recent years in the Portuguese real estate market, which led to an increase in financial liabilities vis-à-vis foreign countries.

The change in the IIP was reflected in an upward revision of net external debt (Chart 8). At the end of 2018, net external debt reached about 91.2 percent of GDP. Revisions in external debt were lower than revisions in the IIP because debt does not incorporate the capital component and, as such, does not reflect the impact of the revaluation of unlisted shares and other equity.

Banco de Portugal published today the Economic Bulletin (in Portuguese only) which also includes a box on this subject.

Next update: 9 Jan. 2020


(1) Values as a percentage of GDP in the year ending in the quarter.

(2) Cumulative flows of the last four quarters.

(3) End-of-period outstanding amounts.