The European Union reported current account surplus of 69.4 billion EUR (1.8% of GDP) in 2017, according to unadjusted data of Eurostat. There is growth on both on annual and quarterly basis. In the third quarter of 2016, the surplus amounted to 44.8 billion EUR (1.2% of GDP), while in Q2 2017 it was 47.5 billion EUR.
For the third quarter, the surplus on the current account for goods marked a significant increase over the second quarter – to 43.1 billion EUR from 34.1 billion EUR. An increase in surplus also amounted to services – reaching 46.5 billion USD from 40.1 billion EUR in the previous quarter.
After the deficit in the previous quarter, the balance on the article “Primary Income” again went into surplus. It stands at 2.0 billion EUR against a deficit of 2.6 billion EUR on a quarterly basis.
The balance on the item “Secondary income” remained negative – 22.1 billion EUR, although it narrowed by 2.1 billion EUR compared to the second quarter of 2017.
In Q3 2017, the EU reported a surplus on the current account with a number of external partners – USA (46.3 billion EUR), Switzerland (18.2 billion EUR), Brazil (8.3 billion EUR), Canada (6.6 billion EUR) and Hong Kong (6.0 billion EUR). At the same time, a deficit was achieved with China (-28.6 billion EUR), Japan (-2.8 billion EUR) and Russia (-1.5 billion EUR), while achieved trade balance with India.
As far as individual EU countries are concerned, 20 countries are surplus, 6 are deficit, and two (Belgium and Lithuania) have reached a third-quarter current account balance. Germany remains the EU country with the largest surplus – 62.8 billion EUR for the third quarter, which increases on a quarterly basis, but declines to an annual one.