In third quarter last year, EU current account deficit stood at 60.8 billion euros, while in October – December 2007 it equated 14.2 bln euros.

The current account balance as share in GDP fell to 0.7% from 2% in Q3 2008 and climbed 0.3% from prior-year period.

Eurostat made public the preliminary statistics on balance of trade in services, indicating recorded a surplus of 23.0 billion euro, compared with a surplus 19.3 billion euro in the third quarter of 2008. The balance of trade in services hiked 3.3 bln euros from prior-year period.

The current account deficit of the euro area widened by 15% in Q4 2008 up to 14.6 bln euros from Q3 last year. In fourth quarter 2007, the states of the euro area recorded a 10.6 billion euro surplus.

The surplus of balance of trade in services reduced by 6.3 bln euros versus prior quarter up to 9 bln euros. In the last quarter of 2007, the balance of trade in services recorded a 11.2 bln euro surplus.

In the data released today, Eurostat has used a new method for the calculation of portfolio investment income debits as counterpart of a portfolio investment transaction (e.g. the purchase of shares on the stock exchange) is difficult to identify.