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Transaction values for direct investment

External Transactions

The economic transactions (which correspond with the stock information) between residents and non-residents within a given period are shown in the balance of payments statistics. These data constitute an important part of the European Monetary Union and European Union statistics.

Dissemination practice

The Deutsche Bundesbank publishes direct investment transactions in the Statistical Supplement 3 “Balance of Payment Statistics” on a monthly basis. Direct investment is presented as a functional category both within the transaction-based balance of payments as well as in the corresponding external stock statistics of the international investment position. Furthermore, the data on direct investment transactions of the previous four years is published in the annual publication “Direct investment according to the balance of payments statistics” which appears in spring (usually April). Information on earlier years is available in the time series database.

When publishing the preliminary direct investment transactions of the reporting month, the corresponding data for the previous month are revised. Annual revisions for the previous reporting year and up to three preceding years are made in the March Monthly Report. In these retrospective monthly and annual revisions, particular consideration is given to late and correction reports.

General information about publication dates and the revision policy for the balance of payments and international investment position can be found in

  • Table on publication dates and revision policy
  • Description of revision policy

Direct investment transactions are published in the following formats.

  • Time series database
  • Press release
  • Monthly Report
  • Statistical Supplement 3, Balance of payments
  • Special Statistical Publications

Methodological notes

Direct investment transactions are collected on a monthly basis in the context of the balance of payments statistics. According to international standards, direct investment is defined as cross-border participation in the capital or voting rights of enterprises of 10% in direct terms or more than 50% in direct and indirect terms combined. Likewise, credit transactions between enterprises within a direct investment relationship also count as direct investment. The balance of payments statistics are based on market values at the time of the transaction.

Detailed explanations regarding a definition of direct investments can be found under the methodological notes in the annual publication “Direct investments according to the balance of payment statistics" (usually published in April).

In terms of the concepts and definitions used, as well as the presentation of the results, direct investment transactions are recorded in line with the methodological requirements outlined in the sixth edition of the IMF’s Balance of Payments Manual (BPM6), the OECD’s Benchmark Definition of Foreign Direct Investment as well as the ECB’s Guideline on statistical reporting requirements in the area of balance of payments, international investment position statistics and the international reserves (ECB/2011/23 und ECB/2013/25).

Data sources

The external reporting system serves as the basis for compiling external statistics. All resident banks, enterprises, individuals and public authorities participating in external transactions are required to report their transactions with the rest of the world. These reporting requirements are anchored in section 11 (2) of the Foreign Trade and Payments Act (Außenwirtschaftsgesetz) and – based on section 11 (2) - in section 67 et seq of the Foreign Trade and Payments Regulation (Außenwirtschaftsverordnung). The data are used for statistical purposes only. Pursuant to section 11 (5) of the Foreign Trade and Payments Act in conjunction with the Statistics for Federal Purposes (Gesetz über die Statistik für Bundeszwecke), the data are subject to statistical confidentiality and are not made available to third parties.