IMF Releases New Global Standards for Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Statistics

Press Release No. 10/03
January 13, 2010

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has released the sixth edition of the Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual (BPM6). BPM6 provides updated global standards for the presentation of external sector statistics, including balance of payments, international investment position, and reserve assets data. The new edition reflects significant developments in international trade and finance since the fifth edition of the manual was released in 1993.

The manual, produced by the IMF’s Statistics Department and the IMF Committee on Balance of Payments Statistics, is one of the Fund’s main contributions to the global statistical standards system used by its 186 members. It provides guidance on the recording of cross-border transactions and positions according to a set of internationally agreed guidelines. The latest edition provides greater clarity and details on an expanded range of international activities that affect the IMF's member countries and addresses methodological and measurement issues that have become more apparent during the past 15 years, including some issues highlighted by the recent financial crisis. It takes fuller account than earlier editions of globalization─for example, cross-border production processes, complex international company structures, and issues associated with labor mobility, such as remittances. BPM6 makes the international investment position more central to the framework than did the previous edition building on the growing interest in examining vulnerability using balance sheet data. It also contains increased and updated guidance on new financial instruments and financial activities linked to innovation.

BPM6 was produced through a long-term consultative process involving experts in national statistical agencies, international organizations, policymakers, and other data providers and data users. BPM6 was drafted in parallel with the System of National Accounts 2008 (2008 SNA) to retain consistency between the two systems. Information on the 2008 SNA is available on the United Nations website at http://unstats.un.org/unsd/nationalaccount/snarev1.asp. BPM6 is available in hardcopy in English, with publication in other languages─Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish─expected to be completed late in 2010. Hardcopies of BPM6 can be ordered through the IMF’s online bookstore (http://www.imfbookstore.org/ProdDetails.asp?ID=BPMEA2009001). The PDF format is available free of charge and may be downloaded via this link: http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/bop/2007/bopman6.htm.



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