The European Union (EU) current account deficit shot up to 39.5 billion euros (about 51.3 billion U.S. dollars) in the third quarter of 2008, the EU's statistics bureau Eurostat said on Thursday.
The deficit was dramatically revised up from a previous estimate, in which Eurostat said the EU registered a current account deficit of 26 billion euros in the third quarter of 2008.
In the third quarter of 2008, the EU's deficit of the goods account increased significantly from 38.7 billion euros in the third quarter of 2007 to 64 billion euros, while the surplus of the services account diminished from 23.5 billion euros to 19.3 billion euros.
The surplus of the income account remained nearly stable, as did the deficit of the current transfers account.
Eurostat said the surplus recorded in the services account was mainly the result of surpluses in financial services, "other business services," which includes miscellaneous business, professional and technical services, transportation and computer &information services, partially offset by deficits in travel and royalties & license fees.
In the third quarter of 2008, the EU external current account recorded a surplus with the United States, Switzerland, Canada and Brazil, and a deficit with China, Russia and Japan, according to Eurostat. (1 U.S. dollar = 0.77 euros)