International investment position and external debt

The data capture residents’ assets and liabilities vis-à-vis non-residents and vice versa. These figures are calculated over time based on balance of payments transactions and valuation changes.

Brexit: adjustments of the international investment position and external debt

For international investment position statistics the aggregates are calculated based on the “fixed composition” concept.

Therefore new aggregates vis-à-vis other EU countries (EU 27 – excluding UK) will be released from reference period first quarter (release date June 2020). At that stage all back-data (quarterly and yearly data) will be recalculated.

International investment position
Bar chart Germany's international investment position

The coronavirus pandemic has brought the increase in Germany's net external assets to a halt. The country’s net international investment position (i.i.p.) shrank by €90 billion in the first quarter of 2020, its first drop in eight years. One factor in this decline was the slide in prices in global capital markets triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. Nevertheless, at €2.4 trillion, or 68% of gross domestic product (GDP), net i.i.p. remains at a high level.

External debt

Germany’s gross external debt stood at €5.2 trillion as at the end of March 2020 and is rising. Likewise, as a percentage of gross domestic product, it increased. 

The external position of the Bundesbank, International reserves and foreign currceny liquidity of the Eurosystem

Bundesbank’s external position stood at €588 billion as at the end of April 2020, with claims from the TARGET2 payment system worth €919 billion making up around 76% of total assets.

External position of banks (MFIs)
Bar chart of the external claims and liabilities of banks (MFIs) in Germany

The assets of the banks (nearly two trillion euros) are approximately twice as high as the liabilities.

External positions of enterprises from financial operations and trade credits

German enterprises constitute net debtors vis-à-vis non-residents: Standing at €1,328 billion at the end of April 2020, their liabilities arising from financial operations and trade credits, exceeded their corresponding assets of €963 billion by €365 billion.

International investment position: three-dimensional account system presenting changes in net external assets

In the first quarter of 2020, Germany's net foreign assets shrank by €90 billion. The three-dimensional account system analyses the change in net foreign assets from different perspectives.

Indices of exchange rate effects in the international investment position

A notable percentage of the financial assets and liabilities in Germany’s international investment position (i.i.p.) are denominated in a foreign currency. Exchange rate movements therefore have a major impact on the performance of the i.i.p. A specific index concept allows us to assess how the market value of external assets and external debt changes solely as a result of exchange rate movements