Front Matter

Front Matter

Carlos Sanchez-Munoz, Paul Austin, Alicia Hierro, and Tamara Razin
Published Date:
February 2020
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February 4, 2020

Executive Summary

The 2019 Annual Report of the IMF Committee on Balance of Payments Statistics (the Committee) provides an overview of recent trends in global balance of payments and international investment position statistics, summarizes the Committee’s work during 2019, and presents the work program of the Committee in the coming year.

During 2019, the IMF Statistics Department (STA), in consultation with the Committee, proposed the strategic direction for updating the international standards for external sector statistics (ESS), particularly the framework around which the research agenda should be structured in coordination with the system of national accounts. The Committee advanced the work in measuring the effects of globalization and digitalization by: (i) agreeing on the need to develop a template for global value chains data collection and a framework to identify multinational enterprises’ activities in the current account; (ii) endorsing the creation of a task force on intellectual property products (IPPs); and (iii) contributing with other international organizations to the ongoing work for establishing a framework to define and measure digital trade. To address global and national data gaps, the Committee endorsed a plan for collecting separate ESS data on special purpose entities (SPEs) as well as the Final Report of the Task Force on Informal Economy with the launch of the informal economy webpage which identifies encouraged compilation practices. The Committee also continued the work on emerging conceptual and methodological issues.

In 2020, the Committee’s work will continue giving priority to the forthcoming review of external sector statistics (ESS) manuals. The Committee will also work on reducing global and bilateral data asymmetries; developing guidance on recording IPPs in ESS; and preparing for the launch of the SPEs data collection. Medium priorities include, among others, exploratory work for measuring cross border flows and positions on sustainable finance to better inform financial stability analysis, including potential risks from climate change.

The full set of papers presented at the Committee’s 2019 meeting is available at

Approved By

Louis Marc Ducharme

Prepared by Carlos Sánchez-Muñoz, Paul Austin, Alicia Hierro, and Tamara Razin of the Statistics Department

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