Spain: Current account records first surplus in nearly three decades in 2013
February 28, 2014
Spain's current account balance incurred a surplus of EUR 2.1 billion in December, marking an improvement over the EUR 873 million surplus recorded in November, but falling well below the EUR 2.7 billion surplus tallied in the same month of the previous year. In the full year 2013, the current account recorded a surplus of EUR 7.1 billion (equivalent to 0.7% of GDP), which contrasts the EUR 11.5 billion deficit (equivalent to 1.1% of GDP) tallied in 2012 and marks the first surplus since 1986.
The trade balance recorded a EUR 2.0 billion deficit in December, exceeding the EUR 1.5 million shortfall tallied in the same month of the previous year. Exports expanded 3.7% in annual terms in December, which contrasted the 1.9% drop recorded in November. Meanwhile, imports increased 5.5% in December, contrasting the 0.4% decline tallied in the previous month.
The ongoing rebalancing process is key for the Spanish economy as foreign investment and exports continue to be the country's only source of economic growth. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect the current account balance to record a 1.9% surplus in 2014, which is down 0.1 percentage points over the previous month's estimate. In 2015, the panel sees the current account surplus rising further to 2.2% of GDP.