Portuguese economy reports €256m external surplus

22 Sep 2021

Portugal’s economy accumulated an external surplus of €256 million this year up until July, according to the Bank of Portugal.


The surplus accrued during the first seven months of 2021 compares to a €975 million deficit during the same time last year. Between January and July 2019, the accumulated balance of current and capital accounts was a positive €108 million.


According to Portugal’s central bank, the country received around €1.1 billion from the European Financial Stability Fund in July due to the “return of the financial margin retained in 2011 under the Economic and Financial Assistance Programme for Portugal”, and this receipt led to the “increase in the capital account surplus”.


In addition, Portugal received €367 million in remittances from Portuguese immigrants in July, an increase of €22 million than the same month last year. Individuals in the UK, Switzerland and France sent the most money.


The country’s trade balance was negative in July by €282.77 million, compared to a surplus of €163.61 million in July 2020.


The Bank of Portugal said the trade deficit is justified as imports of goods and services have exceeded exports.


Indeed, in July this year compared to 2020, exports of goods rose 13% whilst imports increased 23.9%, “once again surpassing the pre-pandemic numbers,” the Bank of Portugal stated.


Moreover, exports and imports of services rose 28.0% and 26.7% respectively. The central bank said there was a standout rise in travel and tourism exports, by 45.6%, nevertheless the figure “remained below pre-pandemic levels.”

The trade balance takes into account the balance of goods and the balance of services combined.