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The balance of payments and international investment position of Spain in 2018

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According to the balance of payments (BoP) statistics, in an environment of ongoing economic upturn, Spain was once again a net lender in 2018, albeit to a lesser extent than in preceding years. The decline in net lending is explained by the decrease in the goods and services surplus, which largely reflected the slowdown in external markets, the negative impact on exports of the cumulative euro appreciation since 2017 and the rise in oil prices. The nation’s net lending, the positive amount of other flows and GDP growth were conducive to a decline in the Spanish economy’s negative net international investment position (IIP), as a percentage of GDP, for the fourth year in succession. In terms of financial flows, international investors made net purchases under the portfolio investment (mainly, long-term bonds issued by general government) and direct investment headings in 2018, a sign of their continuing confidence in the Spanish economy, despite the deterioration in the global macro-financial scenario in the second half of the year. However, the fact that the Spanish economy’s negative net IIP remains high (77.1% of GDP), both historically and by international standards, makes it vulnerable to shocks in the international capital markets
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Economic bulletin /Banco de España. Analytical articles
Economic bulletin / Banco de España ,, n. 2, 2019, 15 p
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