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External positions of enterprises

External positions of enterprises

In 2018, enterprises’ net external debt increased at a much faster rate than in previous years, totalling -€260 billion as at the end of the reporting period.

With year-on-year growth of 8%, it is primarily liabilities that have seen sharp increases, whereas assets have been rising only moderately since 2016.

The external position of non-banks encompasses, in particular, those external assets and liabilities from domestic enterprises’ financial credits and trade relations. Non-banks also include, inter alia, investment companies.

Dissemination practice

The external position of non-banks is compiled by the Deutsche Bundesbank on a monthly basis and is published approximately five to six weeks after the end of the reporting month.

The external position of non-banks is published in the time series database, the Monthly Report and in the Statistical Supplement 3, Balance of payments statistics.

In order to provide a complete picture of relations with foreign countries, late and corrected reports or methodological changes are continuously reflected in the latest calculations.

Methodological notes

The external position of non-banks is a monthly stock statistic. It provides information on the volume and structure of German cross-border financial and trade credits as at the end of the reporting period. The data are broken down by type of loan, maturity, creditor and debtor country as well as by euro and foreign currency. Credit relationships with affiliated enterprises are presented separately. This does not include participating interests in foreign enterprises, non-residents’ participating interests in the equity capital of domestic enterprises or securitised assets and liabilities vis-à-vis non-residents.

The external position of non-banks provides data for drawing up the German balance of payments and the German international investment position.

With regard to the distinction and assessment of the collected positions, internationally agreed concepts such as the International Monetary Fund's Balance of Payments Manual (BPM6), the regulations on national accounts (SNA2008) as well as the European System of Accounts (ESA 2010), which is binding for all members of the European Union, are taken into account.

Data sources

The reporting system serves as the basis for compiling the external position of non-banks. It requires all resident non-banks to report their assets and liabilities from financial and trade credit vis-à-vis non-residents. These reporting requirements are anchored in section 11 (2) of the Foreign Trade and Payments Act (Außenwirtschaftsgesetz) together with section 66 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.

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