Eurozone balance of payments worsens in November: ECB

19th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

The eurozone's balance of payments worsened further in November to show a deficit of 11.2 billion euros ($15 billion), the European Central bank said Monday.

The balance of payments, which includes imports and exports in both goods and services, is a closely tracked indicator of a country's or area's ability to pay its way in the world.

It is crucial for the long-term confidence of investors and trading partners.

In October, the eurozone measure showed a deficit of 9.6 billion euros, according to revised data from the ECB, following a deficit of 6.5 billion euros in September,

That underscored a lack of competitiveness by the then 16-nation bloc as a whole.

The eurozone has posted almost a year's worth of deficits, interrupted only by a surplus of 1.6 billion euros in January 2010.

The October figure was initially reported as a deficit of 9.8 billion euros.

Within the eurozone, countries like Germany continue to post surpluses owing to strong exports, while others have structural external deficits.

A breakdown of the data showed that seasonally-adjusted exports of goods increased to 136.4 billion euros in November from 133.5 billion euros in October, while imports rose to 140.4 billion euros from 1135.8 billion.

On the financial account, the ECB reported an unadjusted net inflow of 38 billion euros in November as more money was invested in eurozone assets than was placed abroad by eurozone companies and institutions.

On a 12-month cumulative basis, the eurozone's seasonally adjusted current account -- which includes capital transfers -- showed a provisional deficit of 44.4 billion euros, or around 0.5 percent of the now 17-nation bloc's gross domestic product (GDP).

That was better however than the equivalent figure for a year earlier of 62.4 billion euros.

© 2011 AFP

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