The current account – the half of the balance of payments reflecting the real economy – measures imports and exports of goods and services as well as cross-border income over a defined period of time. A current account surplus indicates that a country’s cross-border income on exports exceeds its expenditures on imports. The opposite is referred to as a current account deficit. A positive current account balance indicates that a country is a net lender to the rest of the world, while a negative current account balance indicates that it is a net borrower. The ratio of the current account balance to economic output (GDP) is an important indicator of a country’s level of international competitiveness. The level of the current account balance is also used as an economic indicator of external imbalances. The balance of payments is compiled in line with the IMF’s Balance of Payments Manual (6th edition) and the System of National Accounts 2008.
Current account data are calculated based on moving sums over four quarters.