Front Matter

Front Matter

International Monetary Fund
Published Date:
March 1995
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© 1995 International Monetary Fund

Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Balance of payments compilation guide.—Washington, DC, USA: International Monetary Fund, c1995. x, 380 p.

ISBN 9781557754707

1. Balance of payments—Statistics—Handbooks, manuals, etc. I. International Monetary Fund. HG3882.B25 1995

Price: US$32.50

Please send order to:

International Monetary Fund, Publications Services

700 19th Street NW, Washington, DC 20431, USA

Telephone (202) 623-7430 Telefax (202) 623-7201


The Balance of Payments Compilation Guide (the Guide) is a companion document to the Balance of Payments Manual (the Manual), the fifth edition of which was published by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 1993. The primary purpose of the Guide is to provide practical direction for using sources and methods to compile statistics on the balance of payments and the international investment position.

The Manual reflects important changes in international transactions (e.g., liberalization in financial markets, unprecedented growth in the volume of international trade in services, innovations in creation and packaging of financial instruments, and new approaches to restructuring external debt). The Guide reflects the emergence of new data sources and adaptations in the application of statistical methodologies to changing circumstances.

Statistical methodologies evolve over time and in the context of institutional arrangements existing in different countries. Therefore, the Guide does not present a prescriptive or definitive approach to compiling statistics on the balance of payments and the international investment position. Instead, the Guide presents the relative strengths and weaknesses of a variety of approaches and notes source data adjustments required to derive, in conformance with recommendations of the Manual, data on flows and stocks. The Guide also discusses relationships between the compilation of balance of payments statistics and relevant aspects of the national accounts.

The Guide was prepared, through close consultation with national compilers of balance of payments statistics and experts from interested international and regional organizations, by staff of the IMF Statistics Department. The project was supervised by Assistant Director Mahinder S. Gill, Balance of Payments and External Debt Division I (BOPEDD I). In October 1991, Mr. Geoffrey Robertson, who was then a senior economist in the division and on secondment from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, prepared a preliminary draft of the Guide. This preliminary document was circulated to national balance of payments compilers and balance of payments experts working in international and regional organizations. Mr. Peter Harper (economist, BOPEDD I) subsequently undertook the task of redrafting the preliminary document and revising the text to incorporate the effects of reviewer comments and the updated statistical framework embodied in the fifth edition of the Manual and the revised System of National Accounts published in 1993. Mr. Peter Hofman of the Netherlands Bank provided a draft of the discussion on electronic data interchange (EDI), which appears in chapter 3 of the Guide. Ms. Nancy Basham, assistant editor in the Statistics Department, edited the final document and coordinated print production. Ms. Suzanna Persaud (staff assistant, BOPEDD I) typed revised and final versions of the Guide.

The IMF staff wishes to acknowledge, with thanks, its indebtedness to national and international balance of payments experts for the valuable comments and suggestions offered on the content of the Guide.

John B. McLenaghan


Statistics Department


Acronyms Used in This Guide


Broad Economic Category


Bank for International Settlements


balance of payments


Balance of Payments Manual


cost, insurance, and freight


Creditor Reporting System (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development)


Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development


Debtor Reporting System (World Bank)


electronic data interchange


enterprise surveys


financial intermediation services indirectly measured


free on board


Balance of Payments Compilation Guide


International Financial Statistics


international investment position


international transactions reporting system


international trade statistics


liabilities constituting foreign authorities’ reserves


Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development


Standard International Trade Classification


System of National Accounts 1993

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