The euro zone's current account surplus fell to €21.3bn in December from €23.3bn in November, European Central Bank data has shown.

The current account on the balance of payments, which includes payments for imports and exports in both goods and services plus all other current transfers, is a closely tracked indicator of the ability of a country or area to pay its way in the world.

It is crucial for the long-term confidence of investors and trading partners, and an important factor in the value of a currency on the foreign exchange market.

Over the 12 months to December, the current account showed a surplus of €221.3 billion, compared with a surplus of €128.6 billion a year earlier, the data showed.