German balance of payments in April 2024

Current account

In April 2024, Germany’s current account recorded a surplus of €25.9 billion, down €1.9 billion on the previous month’s level. This was due to a decrease in the goods account surplus. 

The surplus in the goods account fell by €1.9 billion to €25.4 billion in April because expenditure increased more sharply than receipts. At €0.4 billion, the surplus in invisible current transactions remained at almost the same level as the previous month. The deficit in secondary income declined by €6.2 billion to €3.6 billion in the reporting month; this was mainly due to the countermovement to the net monetary income that the Bundesbank had transferred to the Eurosystem pool in March. By contrast, net receipts in primary income fell by €5.0 billion to €9.6 billion, largely on account of higher dividend payments to non-residents from portfolio investment. Moreover, the deficit in the services account widened by €1.2 billion to €5.6 billion. This occurred primarily in connection with the decline in total receipts, with lower receipts from other business services and computer services playing a key role. 

Portfolio investment sees net capital imports

Germany’s cross-border portfolio investment recorded net capital imports of €1.4 billion, after net capital exports of €12.4 billion in March. Non-resident investors added German securities worth €3.2 billion net to their portfolios, acquiring bonds on a larger scale (€28.7 billion), mostly public bonds. They also purchased mutual fund shares (€0.9 billion). By contrast, they disposed of money market paper (€24.3 billion) and shares (€2.2 billion) on balance. Domestic investors purchased foreign securities worth €1.8 billion net. They added mutual fund shares (€5.0 billion), money market paper (€3.0 billion) and shares (€0.2 billion) to their portfolios, but sold foreign bonds (€6.4 billion).

In April, transactions in financial derivatives resulted in net outflows of €5.5 billion (after inflows of €1.5 billion in March). 

Direct investment generated net capital exports of €7.5 billion in April (March: €15.8 billion). Viewed in terms of transactions, German foreign direct investment rose by €12.4 billion. German enterprises boosted their equity capital abroad by €12.0 billion. They also provided affiliates abroad with additional loans (€0.4 billion). Foreign enterprises provided their German affiliates with direct investment funds (€4.9 billion), increasing the volume of loans in particular (€4.5 billion), as well as, to a much lesser extent, their equity capital (€0.4 billion).

Other statistically recorded investment – which comprises loans and trade credits (where these do not constitute direct investment), bank deposits and other investments – registered net capital imports amounting to €5.7 billion in April (following net capital exports of €7.0 billion in March). Lower net claims of enterprises and households (€13.6 billion) made a notable contribution to this amount. The Bundesbank’s net claims also declined by €6.9 billion, with the Bundesbank’s TARGET claims on the ECB decreasing by €17.8 billion. At the same time, its liabilities also went down as non-residents scaled back their deposits. Monetary financial institutions (excluding the Bundesbank) recorded net capital exports of €14.2 billion in April. Transactions by general government resulted in net capital exports as well (€0.6 billion).

The Bundesbank’s reserve assets fell – at transaction values – by €0.3 billion in April.