External sector

External sector statistics provide information on a country’s economic relationships with the rest of the world. The data on external transactions and stocks form an important basis for economic policy decisions.

Germany’s current account surplus rises to €265½ billion in 2021
Current figure: Germany’s current account surplus rises to €265½ billion in 2021

2021 saw Germany’s current account surplus rise by €26½ billion to €265½ billion. The balance grew by ½ percentage point to 7½% of gross domestic product. The ratio thus more or less returned to its pre-pandemic level, after the short-lived decline in the previous year.

Update of the sixth edition of the Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual (BPM6)
Logo International Monetary Fund

The concepts and methodological standards for compiling external sector statistics are set out in numerous international manuals. These are currently being revised.

Foreign affiliates statistics (FATS)
Number of foreign affiliates of German investors

In 2019, the number of foreign corporate units with German investors increased slightly. The annual turnover generated in these corporate units increased by 98 billion to over 2.6 trillion euros.

German direct investment abroad down slightly at end of 2020
Major destinations for German direct investors

Germany’s outward foreign direct investment (FDI) stocks fell by €10 billion to €1,376 billion in 2020. This decline was mainly due to negative exchange rate effects, which led to a lower valuation of the stocks, a Bundesbank press release on these figures explains. The same period saw stocks of FDI in Germany increase by €39 billion to €845 billion.

Statistical publications: new concept and flexible download options
Blue infographics and 3D bars

As of 16 April 2020, the Bundesbank’s statistical publications will appear in a new format. In future, Statistical Series with partially amended content will be made available instead of Statistical Supplements. A modular publication structure will enable each issue to be updated on an ongoing basis and accommodate flexible download options.

Time series
Blue digital binary data on computer screen

Balance of payments, international investment position, external debt, external position of the Bundesbank, international reserves, direct investments, external position of non-banks.