Impact of new statistical standards on balance of payments statistics and statistics on the international investment position

This site contains information on changes resulting from new statistical standards in the balance of payments statistics and the statistics on the international investment position.

1. General information on implementation

2. New regulation

3. European Central Bank website on the implementation of the new statistical standards

1. General information on implementation

In the compilation of its balance of payments statistics, Finland observes the International Monetary Fund's Balance of Payments Manual, BPM, which enables the international comparability of the statistics. Based on this manual, the European Union has issued Regulations and the European Central Bank has issued Guidelines which shall be observed by the member states in reporting items under the balance of payments and international investment position. Furthermore, in the compilation of statistics on foreign direct investment, Finland observes the manual on foreign direct investments published by the OECD.

The previous, fifth edition of the Balance of Payments Manual (BPM5) was published in 1993. Since then, the world economy has become increasingly global: international trade and capital movements have become more significant than previously. These changes have caused a need to reform the compilation of balance of payments statistics. The new 6th edition of the Balance of Payments Manual (BPM6) takes these changes into account.

The changes made to the statistics on the balance of payments and the international investment position are linked to the reform of the European system of national accounts (so-called ESA 2010 reform). The balance of payments statistics have been reformed in conjunction with the global system of national accounts underlying the ESA 2010 reform, the so-called SNA 2008 Recommendation. The aim has been to harmonise the compilation of the balance of payments statistics and the system of national accounts both in terms of content and terminology. In the future, for example current account will be presented in a harmonised manner in the balance of payments and the national accounts.

As of July 11th 2014, Finland will publish its balance of payments data in accordance with the guidelines and recommendations of BPM6. At the same time, Finland will adopt the new ECB Guidelines and the European Union Regulations.

As regards current account items, the new balance of payments standards will result in changes for example in the statistics on the merchanting of goods and the outsourcing of production abroad. In addition, financial intermediation services indirectly measured (FISIM) will be included in the balance of payments framework.

In the financial account, the biggest changes are seen in foreign direct investments. In the balance of payments and international investment position statistics, direct investments are stated on the basis of the gross principle. In addition, foreign direct investment is published as a separate category of statistics, where these investments are presented in net terms (observing the so-called directional principle).

In connection with the reform, changes will be made in key categorisations used. This concerns particularly the sectoral classification, which will undergo changes in terms of both content and structure. Lesser changes may also be made to other categorisations for example as regards codes.

Statistics Finland will implement a time series revision in the balance of payments data published in July 2014, where the time series will reflect changes based on the reform of the balance of payments standards.

Preliminary impact estimates for the year 2011: Current account, net international investment position

Level shift of current account1), % -0.2
Level shift of net international investment position1), % -1.4

1) Difference between new GDP ratio and old GDP ratio

The impact estimate pertains to the year 2011. The estimates include the effect of the introduction of both the new Balance of Payments Manual and ESA 2010, as well as that of other time series changes. Actual published data may differ from these preliminary estimates. The new time series for balance of payments and international investment position will be released on 11 July.

2. New regulation

Calculation of the balance of payments statistics and the international investment position is made in accordance with the instructions and recommendations of the International Monetary Fund's Balance of Payments Manual (6th edition). See BPM6 Manual.

Compilation of the balance of payments statistics is also instructed by the European Central Bank (financial account): European Central Bank Guideline, European Union (current account): European Commission Regulation and OECD (foreign direct investments): Foreign direct investment manual.

3. ECB website on implementation of the new statistical standards

The European Central Bank has opened an Internet site on the reform containing an extensive collection of material related to the implementation of the new statistical standards. Please see European Central Bank's BPM6 site.

Further information:
E-mail: balanceofpayments@stat.fi