IN 1960 there was a far greater contrast than in any other postwar year between the underlying strength (or weakness) of the balances of payments of certain major countries and their over-all surpluses (or deficits). Large-scale movements of short- term capital more than counterbalanced marked changes in trade and other transactions of a more basic character. Under these circumstances, it is less meaningful than in earlier years to describe balance of payments developments primarily in terms of the over-all surpluses and deficits of major countries and areas. Rather, attention should be directed to their basic balances of payments, excluding transitory short-term capital movements.