The euro zone's current account swung to a large deficit in July as imports ballooned on increasingly expensive oil and gas, European Central Bank data showed today.

The 19-country currency bloc has run a large current account surplus for the past decade thanks to massive exports of goods and services.

But its fortunes have turned since Russia's war in Ukraine pushed up its import bill for raw materials from natural gas to metals.

The adjusted current account recorded a deficit of €19.9 billion in July after a surplus of €4.2 billion in June. A year earlier, the bloc's surplus was €28.9 billion.

In the 12 months to July, the current account surplus narrowed to 0.5% of GDP from 3.1% in the preceding year.

In all of 2022, the ECB expect a decifit of 0.3% of GDP.