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Eurozone current account surplus hits 3.5% of GDP in 2017

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Eurozone current account surplus hits 3.5% of GDP in 2017

The eurozone's current account surplus rose to €391.4 billion in 2017, equivalent to 3.5% of the bloc's gross domestic product, up from €367.6 billion, or 3.4% the year before, preliminary data from the European Central Bank showed.

The annual surplus in services jumped to €80.9 billion, from €39.0 billion in 2016, while the primary income surplus edged up to €112.8 billion during the year from €95.3 billion of 2016. The effects were partly offset by a decrease in the surplus for goods to €348.2 billion from €373.0 billion and an increase in the deficit for secondary income to €150.5 billion from €139.7 billion.

The ECB provided no country-by-country breakdown, but the eurozone's current account surplus is mainly a result of Germany's export success. The country's $296 billion surplus in 2016 was by far the largest in the world, IMF data showed.

In December the current account surplus slipped to €29.9 billion, compared to a revised figure of €35.0 billion the prior month.

The monthly balance reflected surpluses of €30.9 billion for goods, €7.3 billion for services and €3.7 billion for primary income, offset by a €12.0 billion deficit in secondary income.

For December 2017, combined direct and portfolio investment recorded net disposals of €24 billion for assets and of €23 billion for liabilities.