international investment income

A financial perspective on the UK current account deficit

A drop in net FDI investment income has been the primary factor in the recent deterioration in the measured UK current account balance, with the trade balance relatively stable. We argue that financial engineering (with little net impact on the underlying international investment position for the UK) may have contributed to the decline in net FDI investment income, such that the headline current account balance cannot be interpreted as a sufficient indicator of the state of the UK’s external position.