Surplus on the Dutch current account remains considerable
- Statistical News Release
Date 17 September 2013
The balance of payments current account ended the second quarter of 2013 with a EUR 14 billion surplus (9% of GDP). As in previous years, the positive balance thus was below the result of the preceding quarter (EUR 21 billion, downward-adjusted from EUR 23 billion). However, compared to the corresponding quarter of 2012, there was a slight increase. Despite the current account surplus, Dutch external assets remained broadly the same at EUR 314 billion.
Offsetting the negative energy balance was a black-figure balance from other merchandise: EUR 13 billion. As a consequence of lower import and export values, which declined 4 and 1% respectively compared to the second quarter of 2012, the surplus in other merchandise increased. The underlying total import and export volumes of goods were more or less on a par with the previous year's level. In services there was no decline in value. The import value was comparable to a year earlier and export value increased some 5%. This resulted in net services exports of almost EUR 3 billion, with the largest contributions coming from transport services (over EUR 2 billion) and other business to business services (EUR 1 billion).
Meanwhile, the income account balance once more contributed to the current account surplus, albeit less strongly than in the previous quarter. Total incomes from direct investment (stakes of 10% or over) receded from the peak in the first quarter, to over EUR 5 billion. Dividends received and paid on portfolio investments clearly show that the 'dividend season' falls in the second quarter (see the Chart).