IMF Releases Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Statistics Based on the Latest International Standard

Press Release No. 12/284
August 1, 2012

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) today published the August 2012 editions of International Financial Statistics (IFS) and the online Balance of Payments Statistics (BOPS) Database. The releases, which cover 2005–2011 (for annual series), for the first time contain balance of payments (BOP) and International Investment Position (IIP) data presented on the basis of the sixth edition of the IMF’s Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual (BPM6).

In order to present data on a consistent BPM6 basis in its publications, starting with today’s releases, the Statistics Department of the IMF converted the data for countries who continued to report data to the IMF on a BPM5 basis onto a BPM6 basis. The conversion was undertaken in close consultation with the IMF’s Committee on Balance of Payments Statistics and member countries [http://www.imf.org/external/bopage/stindex.htm#com].

While, in general, the impact of conversion to BPM6 on most major aggregates and balancing items is rather limited for many economies, users will immediately see some significant changes in the new presentation:

  • In the current account, revisions to the methodology for recording transactions on goods for processing results in increases in imports and/or exports of services (equivalent to the amounts received or paid for manufacturing services), and larger reductions in gross goods imports and exports (due to the elimination of imputed transactions in goods that do not change ownership).
  • In the financial account, a clearer distinction is made between debt and equity transactions.
  • In the IIP, there are significant increases in both gross assets and gross liabilities for many economies due to the change in the presentation of reverse investment in foreign direct investment. Net IIP is not affected by this change.

Background

BPM6 was published in 2009 [http://www.imf.org/external/np/sec/pr/2010/pr1003.htm]. It updates the international methodology for balance of payments and IIP accounts for developments since the publication of the fifth edition (BPM5) in 1993. BPM6 is fully consistent with the System of National Accounts, 2008.

For more information

Q&A with more information on the main methodological changes from BPM5 to BPM6, and on how the IMF converted balance of payments and IIP data from a BPM5 to BPM6 basis for countries providing data on a BPM5 basis, can be found at [http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/bop/2007/bpm6faq.pdf]

Questions about data conversion could be emailed to STABPM6@imf.org.



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