The nation posted a balance of payments (BOP) surplus of US$6.24 billion for last year, its lowest level since President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) took office in 2008, as global economic uncertainties led to substantial net outflow of the financial account, the central bank said yesterday.
The balance of payments — including current, financial and capital accounts — summarizes a net amount of money paid or received by a country during a certain period.
The BOP surplus for last year declined 84.47 percent from US$40.17 billion recorded a year earlier, the central bank said in a report.
“The financial account exhibited a net outflow of US$31.62 billion for last year, its second-highest level in history, further impacting full-year balance of payments surplus,” Chen E-dawn (陳一端), deputy chief of the central bank’s economic research department, told a press conference.
The eurozone debt crisis led to uncertainties among foreign investors in the second half of last year, resulting in an accelerated outflow of capital.
This meant that the financial account saw a net outflow of US$12.28 billion in the fourth quarter of last year, with the sector representing other bank investments — excluding securities and derivatives — experiencing a net outflow of US$8.54 billion. This figure was the third-highest level ever, attributed mainly to short-term bank lending to overseas affiliates and foreign banks, Chen said.
For the current account, it registered a surplus of US$41.27 billion for last year, with fourth-quarter surplus totaling US$12.10 billion, the central bank said.