Published: 21 June 2017

Current account in surplus in the first quarter, the value of exports increased clearly

The current account was in surplus in the first quarter of 2017. In balance of payments terms, goods exports grew by 20 per cent and service exports by four per cent. The net exports of goods and services turned to slight surplus as imports grew more slowly than exports. The surplus of investment income increased the current account surplus. Capital flowed to Finland on net. The data appear from Statistics Finland's statistics on balance of payments and international investment position.

Current account and trade account

Current account and trade account

Current account in the first quarter

The current account was EUR 0.5 billion in surplus in the first quarter of 2017. The surplus was particularly generated by the primary income account that was EUR 0.9 billion in surplus.

In balance of payments terms, the trade account turned EUR 0.5 billion into surplus, as exports of goods grew faster than imports of goods. In the corresponding quarter of the previous year, the trade account was EUR 0.3 billion in deficit. Exports of goods in balance of payments terms, EUR 14.5 billion, rose by 20 per cent in the first quarter from the corresponding period in the year before, and imports by 13 per cent. The high relative rise in goods exports from the year before is partly explained by the low starting level. In 2015 and 2016, the value of goods exports sank clearly.

The service account showed a deficit of EUR 0.4 billion in the first quarter. Service exports, EUR 5.9 billion, grew by four per cent and service imports by five per cent.

The primary income account was EUR 0.9 billion in surplus in the first quarter, which is mainly explained by the surplus of investment income. The primary income account includes investment income like interests and dividends. The secondary income account was EUR 0.5 billion in deficit.

Import and export figures in balance of payments terms by service item and area can be found in the statistics on international trade in goods and services . Additions and deductions made to the Finnish Customs figures, in order to derive the goods trade in balance of payments terms, are also specified in the statistics on international trade in goods and services.

Finland’s current account and trade account, 12 –month moving sum

Finland’s current account and trade account, 12 –month moving sum

International investment position fell, capital flowed into Finland

In the first quarter of 2017, net capital inflow to Finland from abroad amounted to EUR 6.1 billion. Capital flowed into Finland in all investment categories. Inward capital flow was mostly in the form of other investments, that is, for example, as extra-group loans, deposits and trade credits, EUR 2.7 billion on net. Finland’s foreign assets and liabilities have fallen considerably during the quarter due to a significant enterprise reorganisation, but this is not reflected in financial transactions, that is, the financial account. In the balance of payments, changes in balance sheet items occurring in connection with mergers, between the merging enterprises, are recorded under other changes, not under financial transactions.

Capital inflow to Finland as direct investment amounted to EUR 1.8 billion. Finland's assets from direct investments increased in the first quarter on net by EUR 8.8 billion, and liabilities from direct investments increased on net by EUR 10.6 billion. The financial transactions of both assets and liabilities were mainly directed to intra-group loans. The liabilities of direct investments fell, however, because other changes in value were EUR -14.1 billion in the first quarter.

At the end of March 2017, Finland had EUR 637.4 billion in foreign assets and EUR 624.0 billion in foreign liabilities. The net international investment position was thus positive at the end of the quarter as there were EUR 13.4 billion more assets than liabilities. The net investment position contracted slightly compared with the end of the previous quarter, when the net international investment position was EUR 15.3 billion. Both foreign assets and liabilities contracted in the first quarter.

Finland’s international investment position quarterly

Finland’s international investment position quarterly

At the end of the first quarter of 2017, international direct investment assets on gross stood at EUR 151.2 billion and the corresponding liabilities at EUR 101.8 billion. The net international investment position of direct investments was thus positive at the end of the quarter as there were EUR 49.4 billion more assets than liabilities.

Direct data collections for the financial account were renewed in this publication and it has an impact on the figures for the first quarter of 2017. The monthly inquiry on foreign financial assets and liabilities (BOPM) has been discontinued and it has been replaced by the quarterly inquiry on financial assets and liabilities (BOPQ). The annual inquiry on financial assets and liabilities (BOPA) has also been renewed. The effects of the renewal of the annual inquiry are visible in the next publication.


Source: Balance of payments and international investment position, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Tapio Kuusisto 029 551 3318, Saana Ranta-Ruona 029 551 3375, balanceofpayments@stat.fi.

Director in charge: Ville Vertanen

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Tables

Tables in databases

Appendix tables


Updated 21.6.2017

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Balance of payments and international investment position [e-publication].
ISSN=2342-348X. 1st quarter 2017. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 16.12.2017].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/mata/2017/41/mata_2017_41_2017-06-21_tie_001_en.html

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