Eurozone current account deficit lower in May: ECB

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The eurozone's current account balance improved slightly in May but nonetheless remained deep in deficit at 5.2 billion euros ($7.4 billion), the European Central bank said on Thursday.

The ECB revised the figure for April in the 17-nation area to a deficit of 5.4 billion euros from an initial estimate of 5.1 billion euros.

The current account on the balance of payments, which includes imports and exports in both goods and services plus capital transfers, 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.

The data, which have historically been subject to large revisions, also showed that the eurozone's deficit has widened sharply in the past year.

Over the last 12 months, the deficit total amounted to 55.3 billion euros, or 0.6 percent of gross domestic product. This is much bigger than in the previous year, when the accumulated deficit came to 15.5 billion euros.

The eurozone last posted a current account surplus in January 2010.

© 2011 AFP

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