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Last Updated: January 2007
The IMF's Statistics Department has begun work on revising the fifth edition of the Balance of Payments Manual (BPM5). As a first step, an Annotated Outline (AO) of the new manual has been released.
(Use the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view these files.)
It is also available by chapter:
Table of Contents, Notes for Reviewers, and Chapter 1. Introduction to the Revision of the Balance of Payments Manual, fifth edition
Chapter 2. Overview of the International Accounts
Chapter 3. Accounting Principles
Chapter 4. Economic Territory, Units, Institutional Sectors, and Residence
Chapter 5. Classifications: Financial Instruments, Functional Categories, Maturity, Currency, and Type of Interest Rate
Chapter 6. International Investment Position
Chapter 7. Financial Account
Chapter 8. Other Changes in Financial Assets and Liabilities Account
Chapter 9. Goods and Services Account
Chapter 10. Primary Distribution of Income Account
Chapter 11. Secondary Distribution of Income Account
Chapter 12. Capital Account
Chapter 13. Uses of Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Data
It is expected that the revised manual will be finalized by the end of 2008. Major changes to the framework are not proposed; however this new manual will clarify, modify, and extend BPM5 in a number of areas. It will make the international investment position (IIP) more central to the framework than does BPM5, and will also incorporate clarifications and changes that have already been agreed, such as the clarification of some direct investment transactions (see Direct Investment Methodology: Recommended Treatment of Selected FDI Transactions) and the treatment of financial derivatives (see Classification of Financial Derivatives Involving Affiliated Enterprises).
The IMF Committee on Balance of Payments Statistics (the Committee) has agreed that it would be appropriate to revise BPM5 for a number of reasons:
Further, a range of other methodological issues has been discussed by the Committee in recent years.
The Committee has agreed to the target date of 2008 for revising BPM5. This target date fits well with the proposal to complete a review of the System of National Accounts 1993 by 2008; it is important that the two systems remain consistent to the maximum extent possible. Information on the revision of the 1993 SNA is available on the UN Website at http://unstats.un.org/unsd/nationalaccount/snarev1.asp
The AO proposes a structure, and a description of the proposed content, for the new manual, identifies the issues to be resolved, and indicates possible solutions in some cases. It is a discussion document that will provide guidance in the development of the new manual. The AO has been produced by IMF staff and reviewed by the Committee and other groups. The final format and content of the AO was agreed by the Committee at its meeting in December 2003. It has been circulated widely, including to balance of payments compilers, for information and comment. Comments received will be considered during the drafting of the new manual.
Structure of the new manual
The structure of the new manual proposed in the AO is somewhat modified from that of BPM5 in order to present the IIP as a central element of the framework. Further, the outline proposes a sequence of chapters that lays out the accounting principles and conceptual framework, and describes financial instruments, before discussing financial positions and financial and nonfinancial flows. The AO also proposes that the new manual will clearly set out the basic principles, using examples where appropriate. Further, it proposes a chapter that will discuss uses of balance of payments and IIP data.
Process for producing the new manual
A process of development and consultation is now under way in order to produce a draft manual by December 2006. This process will involve the preparation of issues and position papers, discussions by the Committee, technical expert groups, and other interested groups including the ISWGNA, followed by preparation of the draft text for the manual. Four technical expert groups (one to focus on issues related to direct investment—DITEG, one to focus on issues related to monetary and economic unions—CUTEG, one to focus issues related to reserve assets—RESTEG, and one to work on all other areas of balance of payments and international investment position statistics—BOPTEG) have been formed to support this work. The documents of these four groups are placed on this website for information and comment. Background information on the work of these groups is available on the technical expert group introductory page.
It is intended that, after October 2006, new issues will not, for the most part, be considered for inclusion in the new manual. This deadline is necessary to accommodate the broad process of review and consultation that will take place before the manual is finalized at the end of 2008. Remaining issues will be placed on a research agenda, and work will continue on these issues; the results will, however, be included in further updates to the manual following procedures established by the Committee (refer to Committee paper BOPCOM-01/33 Updating BPM5: A Proposal on How to Proceed).
In 2007-8 there will be a program of broad consultation and review, and agreement on the final document by late 2008 when the final draft of the manual, subject only to editing, will be placed on the IMF website. It is expected that the new manual will be made available in hardcopy in 2009 in English, with publication in other languages to follow.
Once the new manual is available, the revision of the Balance of Payments Textbook and the Balance of Payments Compilation Guide will be addressed.
This website will be updated from time to time to provide information on the revision process. The Committee website contains more information on the revision process, as well as on technical issues (see the Annual Reports and the Statistical Papers by Topic).
How to comment
Specific questions and comments on the revision of BPM5, on the Annotated Outline, and on the papers of the four technical expert groups are welcome and should be sent to email@example.com.