External current account in EU records €39.4 billion surplus
The external current account in the EU recorded a surplus of €39.4 billion in the second quarter of 2013. The current account surplus increased by €36.8 billion compared with the same period last year.
On 17 October, Eurostat announced the second estimate for EU’s external account surplus. The current account includes imports and exports in both goods and services plus all other current transfers and is considered a closely tracked indicator of the ability of a country or area to pay its way in the world.
In the second quarter of 2013, compared with the second quarter of 2012, the deficit of the goods account moved into surplus (+€18.1 billion euro compared with -11.2 billion) and the surplus of the services account grew (+€41.7 billion compared with +39.7 billion). The deficit of the income account decreased (-€4 billion compared with -11.5 billion), while the deficit of the current transfers account increased (-€16.5 billion compared with -14.5 billion).
According to the press release, the surplus recorded in the services account (+€41.7 billion) was mainly the result of surpluses in “other business services,” which includes miscellaneous business, professional and technical services (+16.6 billion), financial services (+8.5 billion), computer & information services (+6.8 billion), transportation (+6.5 billion), travel (+4.7 billion), insurance services (+2.6 billion) and construction services (+1.9 billion), partly offset by a deficit in royalties & license fees (-2.5 billion).
In the second quarter of 2013, the biggest EU27 external current account surplus was recorded with the USA (+€26.0 billion) followed by Switzerland (+16.3 billion), Brazil (+9.6 billion), Hong Kong (+7.9 bilion), Canada (+5.6 billion) and India (+1.9 billion). On the other hand, the biggest external current account deficit was recorded with China (-€18.5 billion) followed by Russia (-11.4 billion) and Japan (-3.1 billion).
Besides the EU external current account, Eurostat announced that in August the production in the construction sector rose by 0.5 per cent in the Euro zone and by 0.4 per cent in the EU28. In July 2013, production in construction rose by 0.7 per cent and 1.3 per cent respectively. However, compared with August 2012, production in construction decreased by 4.7 per cent in the Euro area and by 2.5 per cent in the EU28.