Prince Henri Auditoire 02 BW

Balance of payments of Luxembourg during the first three quarters of year 2018


The Central Bank of Luxembourg (BCL) and STATEC inform that the current account showed a surplus of 2.8 billion euros in the first three quarters of 2018, an increase of more than 200 million compared to the same period of the previous year.

The balance of goods turned from a deficit of 2.4 billion euros in 2017 to a surplus of 377 million in 2018. This development is explained by the very strong growth of net exports under merchanting (purchase and resale of goods without these crossing the border). In Luxembourg, these operations are dominated by a limited number of companies belonging to large multinationals. During the third quarter of 2017, one of these companies changed its business model by becoming a buying and selling center for the European market, which had a significant impact on merchanting. The "traditional" trade balance (general merchandise), however, showed a structural deficit, which was growing almost by 340 million during the first nine months of 2018, mainly driven by higher imports of energy products (mineral fuels) and chemicals.

Net exports of services, both financial and non-financial, increased during the period under review. International trade in services balance for the first 9 months of 2018 amounted to 17.2 billion euros, an increase of more than 1.6 billion compared to the same period of 2017 (+ 10.6%). Exports and imports of financial services showed growth rates of respectively + 8.2% and + 9.5%. This performance is largely related to the evolution of the net assets managed by the investment funds over the same period. The surplus generated by non-financial services increased significantly (by around 1 billion euros, or +26.8%), mainly due to other business services and more specifically to trade-related services.

In the financial account, direct investment flows were dominated by disinvestment operations for both assets (-62 billion euros) and liabilities (-72 billion euros). These operations concerned a small number of SOPARFIs that ceased or relocated their activities. Regarding portfolio investment, non-resident investments in securities issued by Luxembourg (largely Investments Funds shares) widely decreased, reaching 187 billion euros in the first three quarters of 2018, compared to 300 billion euros in the same period of 2017. With regard to foreign securities, residents also decreased their investments in the first three quarters of 2018, which totaled 125 billion euros compared to 256 billion in the same period of 2018. Portfolio investment flows resulted in net inflows of 62 billion euros in the first three quarters of 2018, offset entirely by the net outflows in other investments and in financial derivatives as well as in direct investment flows.

Detailed statistical tables are available on BCL’s website ( as well as on the website of STATEC (

Table: Balance of payments of Luxembourg


For further information, please contact:

  • STATEC           - Mr. Bley                                           at 247-84393


  • BCL                   - « Communication » section         at 4774-4265 ou 4599