Spain: Current account records largest deficit in nearly two years in January
March 31, 2014
Spain's current account balance incurred a deficit of EUR 3.6 billion in January, marking a sharp deterioration over both the EUR 1.7 billion surplus recorded in December and the EUR 3.3 billion shortfall tallied in the same month last year. Moreover, the print represented the largest deficit since March 2012. In the 12 months up to January, the current account balance recorded a surplus of EUR 7.6 billion, which was below the EUR 8.0 billion surplus observed in the previous month.
The trade balance recorded a EUR 2.1 billion deficit in January, which slightly exceeded the EUR 2.0 billion shortfall tallied in December, but marked an improvement over the EUR 2.9 billion deficit recorded in the same month last year. Exports expanded 4.8% in annual terms in January, which followed the 4.4% increase recorded in December. Meanwhile, imports increased 0.1% in January, which was below the 6.9% expansion 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 1.8% 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 2.1% of GDP.