This paper aims at clarifying, with the help of a simple formal model and numerical examples, several aspects of the relationship between international investment position (IIP) and balance of payments (BOP) statistics. Exact and approximated relations are compared to analyze the estimation accuracy of the most popular data model used to reconcile BOP transaction statistics with IIP and external debt stock statistics, and discuss (a) how such accuracy is affected by volatile asset prices and transactions and (b) how net errors and omissions are related to the model in question. Numerical examples based on equity prices and exchange rates actually observed in the 1990s suggest that the bias might have been especially large for estimates based on less detailed financial information. Serious consideration should be therefore given by national compilers to make use of more detailed financial information in compiling BOP and IIP statistics.
Thomas Alexander, Ms. Claudia H Dziobek, and Tadeusz Galeza
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015 represent a new global consensus to end poverty, promote prosperity, and protect the environment. Goal 8 seeks to improve global resource efficiency in consumption and production and to decouple economic growth (GDP) from environmental degradation while Goal 12 focuses on sustainable consumption and production. While GDP does not capture these broader goals, we suggest that the System of National Accounts which incorporates but goes well beyond GDP, can be used for the measurement of these SDGs and to support policy. We construct a conceptual “super balance sheet” with an expanded asset boundary to include durable consumer goods used to produce services, human capital, and access to resources such as clean water and air, education, health, and infrastructure, to produce an expanded household net worth.
The issue of whether government capital is productive has received a great deal of recent attention. Yet empirical analyses of public capital productivity have generally been limited to the official capital stock estimates available in a small sample of countries. Alternatively, many researchers have investigated the output effects of public investment-recognizing that investment may be a poor proxy for the corresponding capital stock. This paper attempts to overcome the data shortage by providing internationally comparable capital stock estimates for 22 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries.
This paper analyzes the nonfinancial corporation (NFC) sector’s financial balance sheets using data available from the OECD. In our sample of 20 advanced economies, corporate debt in percent of GDP—a frequently used indicator in the context of corporate balance sheet adjustments—has remained high since the global financial crisis, with significant differences in the level and the trend between the high-debt and low-debt groups. Looking at financial balance sheets more broadly, including net financial wealth, the NFC sector’s balance sheet conditions have improved recently, particularly reflecting accumulation of corporate cash and valuation gains on financial assets. Longer time series and more granular data for Japan, which has been experiencing a prolonged period of balance sheet adjustments, indicate that a continued strengthening of balance sheets might occur even after debt levels are reduced.
Over the last thirty years Burundi's low economic growth has led to a significant decline in per capita GDP. The purpose of this paper is to shed light on supply-side constraints that prevented Burundi's economy from growing faster. Lack of investment, civil conflict, economic inefficiencies, state intervention in the economy, and regulatory restrictions explain a large part of the weak growth performance for the last thirty years.
The principles underlying the recording of changes in inventories are explained in the System of National Accounts, 1993 (1993 SNA), but operational guidelines on their measurement are lacking. This paper elaborates specific statistical techniques and their underlying assumptions for calculating changes in inventories and holding gains when only data on stocks of inventories are available. Several data situations are considered. The authors propose methods for measuring changes in inventories that meet the 1993 SNA principles. The paper also explores possibilities for implementing the proposed improvements and explains the interpretation of data on changes in inventories.
Private cross-border financial flows and stocks have grown to account for an increasingly significant part of overall transactions and positions in many African countries. Direct reporting through enterprise surveys has become a key data source to enable them to be measured accurately. The paper describes a multi-year technical assistance project in The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, and Nigeria, where annual enterprise surveys are now established. To varying degrees, the survey results have been incorporated into the balance of payments and International Investment Position statistics. The case studies may serve as a useful reference for other countries embarking on efforts to establish direct reporting of cross-border financial flows and stocks.