Balance of payments of Luxembourg during the year 2020
The Banque centrale du Luxembourg (BCL) and STATEC inform that according to the first provisional results, the current account ended with a surplus of 2.75 billion euros in 2020, i.e. a decrease of around 5% compared to 2019 (-150 million euros).
While net exports under merchanting (purchase and resale of goods abroad without physically crossing the national border) increased slightly by 1.3% in 2020, general merchandise exports and imports fell by 14.5% and 10.9% respectively. All categories of goods declined in 2020, but provisioning (purchase of kerosene by resident/non-resident airlines abroad/in Luxembourg), mineral fuels (imports), manufactured items, machinery and transport equipment have recorded the most significant falls.
International trade in services also contracted in 2020, respectively by 4.2% for exports and 5.1% for imports. Only financial services (+ 2.4% for exports and + 1.8% for imports), benefiting from a rapid recovery of financial markets after their collapse in March 2020, and exports of transport services (boosted by a sustained air freight activity) defied the general downward trend in services in 2020. The non-financial services most affected by the crisis in 2020 were travel services, personal, cultural and recreational services, manufacturing as well as some business services.
In the financial account, in 2020 as a whole, direct investment flows were still characterized by disinvestment operations for both assets (-175 billion euros) and liabilities (-155 billion euros). These operations concerned a small number of SOPARFIs that continued restructuring, ceasing or relocating their activities.
Regarding portfolio investments, the three last quarters of 2020 were characterized by the resumption of investments in Luxembourg equities (largely Investments Funds shares), after the net sales observed in the first quarter of 2020, in a context of falling stock prices following the Covid-19 pandemic. Transactions in Luxembourg equity shares thus resulted in net inflows of 205 billion euros in 2020 as a whole, compared with net inflows of 231 billion euros in 2019. Luxembourg debt securities, however, suffered net sales of 65 billion euros in 2020, compared with net sales of 19 billion euros in 2019. Transactions in foreign equity securities resulted in net purchases amounting to 68 billion euros in 2020, compared with net sales of 9 billion euros in 2009. On the other hand, foreign debt securities underwent net purchases of 115 billion euros in 2020.
Detailed statistical tables are available on BCL’s website (www.bcl.lu) as well as on the website of STATEC (www.statistiques.lu).