Balance of payments

2020 Q1

Simultaneously with the publication of the 2020 Q1 balance of payments figures, revised data since 2015 are being published. In cooperation with the Czech Statistical Office, the Czech National Bank has prepared a revision of the Czech Republic's balance of payments and international investment position[1]. The published data are aligned with the revision of the national accounts and financial accounts. This is a regular exceptional revision of data (a so-called benchmark revision), which is coordinated by Eurostat and the European Central Bank with the countries of the EU. It is a different type of data revision than the routine data revision carried out each year, as it involves the revision of a longer time series. The purpose of the revision of a longer time series is to incorporate new data sources and calculations of new variables. It will result in data on the Czech Republic's balance of payments and international investment position in a time series starting in 2015. The data will be more consistent with international standards in the area of statistics on external economic relations.

It is a routine revision as national accounts, financial accounts, balances of payments and international investment positions require regular updates. The European Union has decided to carry out these more extensive data revisions in a coordinated manner every five years. The scope of the current data revision is much smaller than that in 2014 when new national accounts (ESA210) and balance of payments manuals were introduced. Consistency in the data for national accounts and balance of payments statistics and the international investment position is one of the priorities in the revision of a time series. Data are corrected mainly in exports and imports of goods and services, but also on the capital and financial accounts in order to align the adjustments in national accounts in the external sector (e.g. based on a recommendation by Eurostat, government assets and insurance technical provisions have been corrected; the calculation of the margin, telecommunications and audiovisual services have been updated; data on trading in emission allowances have been revised; and data for employee stock options been included in financial derivatives).

The overall trends in the balance of payments and international investment position of the Czech Republic will be preserved.

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The current account ended 2020 Q1 in a surplus of CZK 74.6 billion. The financial account recorded an outflow of funds (net lending abroad) of CZK 111.1 billion owing to an increase in assets amid a decline in liabilities. Reserve assets increased by CZK 10.5 billion (without adjustment for valuation differences) as a result of transactions for CNB clients. The current account surplus was 0.3% of GDP on an annual basis, owing to a goods and services surplus of 6.0%.

The current account

Ratio of Current Account and Goods and Services Balance to GDP
(CZK billions, right-hand scale in %)

Ratio of Current Account and Goods and Services Balance to GDP

The goods and services balance ended Q1 in a surplus of CZK 106.8 billion. The surplus remained unchanged year on year as the decline in the goods surplus due to lower goods exports was offset by a higher services surplus due mainly to growth in exports of telecommunications and advisory services.

The primary income deficit was CZK 16.5 billion in Q1. The annual decline in the deficit of CZK 24.9 was affected by a direct investment income deficit due to a lower volume of dividend paid out abroad and lower expected reinvestment earnings. The dividend volume from direct and portfolio investment paid out abroad was CZK 20.7 billion, decreasing year on year by CZK 18.5 billion.

Secondary income showed a surplus of CZK 15.7 billion in Q1, down by CZK 9.4 billion year on year. This was due to a lower volume of net payments to the EU budget recorded under secondary income.

The capital account

The capital account recorded a surplus of CZK 19.9 billion in Q1. The year-on-year rise in the surplus of CZK 22.4 billion was due to growth in net income from the EU budget recorded on the capital account and credits from trading in emission allowances. 

The financial account

The financial account (including the change in the CNB's reserve assets) recorded a net outflow (net lending abroad) of CZK 111.1 billion in Q1, owing to an increase in external assets and a decline in external liabilities.  

Ratio of Financial Account to GDP
(CZK billions, right-hand scale in %)

Ratio of Financial Account to GDP

Under direct investment, a net inflow of CZK 0.6 billion was recorded. The main factor on the liabilities side was reinvestment of earnings by foreign owners in domestic firms, while growth in assets was due to loans provided to affiliated companies.

Portfolio investment saw a net inflow (net borrowing) of CZK 39.2 billion. This was due mostly to a decrease in holdings of foreign shares by domestic non-bank investors. The increase in liabilities was due to purchases of government and corporate bonds by non-residents.

Derivatives trading recorded an outflow abroad totalling CZK 20.3 billion.

Other investment saw an outflow (net lending) of CZK 120.1 billion.

The banking sector recorded a change in the short-term position of banks as a result of increase in external assets an a decline in short-term liabilities. The net outflow (including the CNB excluding reserve assets) was CZK 125.6 billion.

The government sector saw drawings of loans from abroad and recorded a net inflow of funds from abroad totalling CZK 24.9 billion.

Other sectors saw a net outflow abroad of CZK 19.4 billion, due mainly to a faster decline in loans drawn by the corporate sector over external assets.

The surplus on transactions for CNB clients led to an increase in reserve assets by CZK 10.5 billion (adjusted for valuation differences). 


[1] The revised data on the Czech Republic's international investment position in a time series starting in 2015 will be published on 22 June 2020.