In connection with the forthcoming revision of the United Nations' A System of National Accounts (SNA), a question has arisen about whether the definition of the residents of an economy,1 given in the 1968 version of the SNA and in the 1977 edition of the IMF's Balance of Payments Manual (BPM) can continue to serve as the basis for compiling national accounts and balance of payments statistics that provide the users of these statistics—the central authorities of the compiling economy and the international organizations—the information they need for policy purposes. That question is discussed in Section I of this chapter. The concept underlying the definition given there is virtually the same as that underlying the definition of residents in the 1968 version of the SNA. Therefore, measures of gross domestic product (GDP) and gross national product (GNP) based on the definition given in Section I should be similar, if not the same, as those based on the 1968 definition of the residents of an economy. The continuity of the existing time series would thus be maintained.
The United Nations' 1968 A System of National Accounts (SNA) and subsequent guidelines and manual1 include no recommendations for the measurement of both the terms of trade effect and real national income. However, many countries have in practice introduced measures of the terms of trade effect into their accounts.2 The current revision of the SNA is to incorporate changes in the terms of trade and real national disposable income (NDI) into the national accounts. This paper first outlines the rationale for their present exclusion and, second, proposes a framework for their inclusion in the accounts. Third, alternative formulae for measuring the terms of trade effect are surveyed. An interpretative framework is proposed with a case also being given for the use of a Tornqvist (translog) formula if a single trade-based index is desired. Empirical results are finally provided that support the use of the proposed interpretative framework and clearly show how present practice, to a large extent based on the Nicholson formula, can give quite distorted results.
This paper proposes some revisions in the structure and classification of the capital account of the balance of payments. Since the publication of the fourth edition of the IMF's Balance of Payments Manual (BPM) in 1977, innovations have occurred in a range of financial instruments and transactions, necessitating a reappraisal of the existing classification scheme for the capital account. A related consideration is the ongoing work on the revision of the United Nations' A System of National Accounts (SNA), one of the goals of which is to harmonize it with related standards on balance of payments, government finance, and money and banking statistics. Although some of the other papers in this volume focus on the special features of newly introduced financial instruments, this paper essentially addresses the need for modifications in the existing BPM classification of capital account items1 that would facilitate links between the classification of the capital account of the balance of payments, on the one hand, and the corresponding classification as reflected in the SNA, on the other.
The Expert Group on Production Accounts and Input-Output Tables suggested that the revised version of the United Nations' A System of National Accounts (SNA) include a recommendation that the accounts for the corporate enterprise sector be prepared separately for private and government-owned as well as for resident- and foreign-owned enterprises. (In this connection it is presumed that the terms resident-owned and foreign-owned refer to enterprises that are, more accurately, resident-controlled or foreign-controlled in that an enterprise can have both resident and foreign ownership of its voting equity; thus, although such an enterprise cannot be said to be wholly resident-owned or foreign-owned, its control can be assigned.) The Group further suggested that a paper describing the criteria used for distinguishing between resident-owned and foreign-owned enterprises, particularly in relation to the definition of direct investment, be prepared.
Major changes have taken place in the international financial markets during the past few years. Not only has the volume of international transactions increased sharply, but a plethora of financial instruments has appeared, some of which are now commonplace but barely existed a decade ago.1 For balance of payments compilers, this process of innovation has given rise to problems of how to classify and value transactions in these instruments appropriately and how to surmount the increasing difficulties in collecting data on such transactions. The purpose of this paper is to examine the implications of these developments for the recording and classification of these financial instruments in light of the guidelines recommended in the IMF's current Balance of Payments Manual (BPM).
Since publication of the fourth edition of the IMF's Balance of Payments Manual (BPM) in 1977, the international capital markets have seen a burgeoning in the variety of financial instruments in use. Either because these instruments did not exist or were not of significance before 1977, they were not expressly mentioned in the BPM. This paper will examine three such instruments—zero-coupon bonds, junk bonds, and indexed bonds—for which the application of the BPM's recommendations with regard to the classification of transactions may not, at first glance, be clear-cut.
This paper addresses some methodological issues in balance of payments accounting for external debt-servicing arrears and for debt reorganization. It attempts to clarify some of the concepts and issues involved in the balance of payments accounting procedures and to supplement the guidelines offered in the fourth edition of the IMF's Balance of Payments Manual (BPM), which was prepared before the emergence of widespread balance of payments difficulties associated with arrears and reorganization of external debt.
This paper was prepared as a guide for discussion at the January 1988 Expert Group Meeting on Public Sector Accounts, with particular reference to the structure of the present United Nations' A System of National Accounts (SNA) and its relationship to the methodology of the IMF's Manual on Government Finance Statistics (GFSM). It is organized in response to questions with respect to the main issues, as follows.
Harmonization of government finance statistics, which are compiled as a guide to the conduct and analysis of the sector itself, and the government account in the national accounts, which are compiled as an indispensable component of a statistical system analyzing the economy as a whole, should produce two kinds of benefits. It should eliminate unnecessary duplication of effort by compilers, and it should reduce confusion among users regarding the relationships between concepts in the two data systems. To reap these benefits, harmonization should delineate existing relationships between concepts in the two data systems, examine the feasibility of compiling data to measure both sets of concepts, and consider adjusting concepts to meet the essential needs of both data systems within the framework of coordinated compilation efforts.
Although the detailed relationships between items in the United Nations' A System of National Accounts (SNA) and the IMF's government finance statistics (GFS) have been worked out over the past decade in the bridge tables appearing in A Manual on Government Finance Statistics (GFSM) and the UN Handbook on public sector statistics1 and are explored further in Chapter 19 of this volume, it may be helpful to explore briefly the larger relationships between the two data systems and the relative significance of particular differences for their reconciliation. A useful starting point for this purpose may be the origins and purposes of the GFS system.