The Banque centrale du Luxembourg (BCL) and Luxembourg's national statistics agency, STATEC, have reported that, according to the initial results, the current account for the first three quarters of 2022 ended in a surplus of €4 billion, i.e. a decrease of €916 million compared to the same period of the previous year.
The trade surplus stood at €364 million and decreased over the first three quarters of 2022 (-€1.3 billion). In terms of exports and imports of goods, there were significant increases of around 8% for exports and 16% for imports. Net exports of international trade (purchases and sales of goods without passing through Luxembourg) were up by 14% (€350 million). At the level of general merchandise (i.e. excluding trade), export growth amounted to 7% (€1.2 billion), while imports increased by 16% (€3 billion).
The balance of international trade in services increased by 5% in the first three quarters of 2022 (€844 million), which is explained by the fact that exports (4.6%) grew at the same rate as imports (4.6%). At a sub-level, developments were similar. Trade in non-financial services rose for exports (5%) and imports (3%). International trade in financial services, meanwhile, showed weaker growth than in the past, with 4% for exports and 6% for imports. This change is mainly due to the depreciation of average assets managed by investment funds during the period under review (-10%).
In the financial account, over the first three quarters of 2022, direct investment flows continued to be characterised by divestments for both assets (-€20 billion) and liabilities (-€55 billion). These divestments concerned a few SOPARFIs, which continued their operations to restructure, terminate or relocate their activities.
With regard to portfolio investments, following the fall in financial markets observed at the beginning of the year, transactions in Luxembourg equities (mainly UCI units) resulted in capital withdrawals of €98 billion over the first three quarters of 2022, compared to net inflows of €443 billion over the same period in 2021. Luxembourg debt securities, on the other hand, recorded net inflows of up to €6 billion over the three first quarters of 2022. For their part, transactions in foreign equity securities also resulted in capital withdrawals of €98 billion over the first three quarters of 2022, compared to net investments of €188 billion over the same period in 2021. Foreign debt securities also recorded net withdrawals, amounting to €139 billion over the first three quarters of 2022, compared to investments Net inflows of €107 billion over the same period in 2021.