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Balance of payments and international investment position

Balance of payments

The euro area balance of payments summarises all the transactions between euro area residents and non-residents, on a monthly and quarterly basis. Transactions between euro area residents are excluded.

The balance of payments consists of:

  • the goods and services account
  • primary and secondary income accounts
  • the capital account
  • the financial account

The different accounts within the balance of payments are distinguished according to the nature of the economic resources (e.g. goods, services, income or financial resources) provided and received.

The balance of payments is based on a double-entry accounting system. Each transaction is recorded as consisting of two entries – a credit entry and a debit entry. The sum of the credit entries and the sum of the debit entries are the same.

International investment position

The euro area international investment position shows the outstanding amount and composition of:

  • euro area residents’ financial claims on non-residents
  • euro area residents’ financial liabilities to non-residents

The difference between the assets and liabilities is the net international investment position and represents either a net claim on, or a net liability to, non-euro area residents.

Other changes in financial assets and liabilities account

The other changes in financial assets and liabilities account records the changes in positions due to economic events other than transactions. It allows for a full reconciliation of the changes in the international investment position broken down into transactions, revaluations (price and exchange rate changes) and other volume changes.

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Selected features

Seasonal adjustment

Within the balance of payments, the current account components are seasonally adjusted on a monthly basis. Where appropriate, these data are also adjusted for working day effects, as well as for the impact of leap years and Easter.

Monetary presentation

The monetary presentation of the balance of payments is a tool for assessing the impact of balance of payments transactions involving euro area non-monetary financial institutions (non-MFIs) on monetary developments.

The principle underlying this presentation is the link between the external counterpart of money (M3), as reflected in the balance sheet of the MFI sector, and the transactions of the MFI sector included in the balance of payments.


Sources and methods

The concepts and definitions used are in line with international statistical standards.

Additional methodological information:

Legal framework


The Quality Report on euro area and national balance of payments and international investment position statistics is published every year. The report focuses on the collection, compilation and dissemination of the statistics.

The international role of the euro report is published annually and reviews the use of the euro in global markets and by residents of countries outside the euro area. The statistical annex includes payment transactions for goods and services and financial market transactions with euro area residents or with other non-residents.

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