IMF Country Reports cover economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with officials of the country, is published at the option of the member.
This Selected Issues paper focuses on a steady increase in current account surpluses in 'Surplus 3' countries-Germany, the Netherlands, and Switzerland-since the mid-1990s. In Germany and the Netherlands, nonfinancial corporations seem to be behind the rising surpluses. In these countries, increasing corporate profits have not been converted into dividends, keeping a lid on consumption. In Switzerland, household savings seem to explain the bulk of the current account surplus: both mandatory and voluntary savings have been on an increasing trend since 2000. Trending net contributions to pension funds since 2000 and rising equity contribution for housing purchases are likely drivers.