5331.0 - Balance of Payments and International Investment Position, Australia, Concepts, Sources and Methods, 1998  
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7.1. The services component covers services rendered by Australian residents to non-residents (credits) and by non-residents to residents (debits). Table 7.1 shows the main services components and their contribution to the balance of payments in 1996-97. Services in total are virtually in balance. However, Australia has a large travel surplus which tends to balance the large deficits on some other components, mainly transportation, royalties and licence fees, and other business services. Travel credits account for almost 50 per cent of services credits, and travel debits 32 per cent of services debits. Transportation debits account for just over 35 per cent of services debits and almost 28 per cent of services credits. Other important components are communications and insurance services.


7.1
SERVICES CREDITS AND DEBITS, 1996-97
Credits ($m)
Debits ($m)

SERVICES 
24,384
- 24,103
Transportation 
6,648
- 8,439
Travel
11,926
- 7,769
Business
665
- 2,286
Education
2,962
- 492
Other personal
8,299
- 4,991

Communications

910

- 1,049
Construction
70
0
Insurance
820
- 1,148
Financial
508
- 325
Computer and information
278
- 253
Royalties and licence fees
346
- 1,369
Other business
1,870
- 2,673
Personal, cultural, and recreational
448
- 559
Government services n.i.e.
560
- 519

Source: Balance of Payments and International Investment Position, Australia, March quarter 1998 (Cat. no. 5302.0).

7.2. Despite the conceptual difference between goods and services, the boundary is sometimes blurred: items classified as goods may include some service element, and vice versa. For example, personal goods acquired by travellers are included in travel services, while merchandise includes the value of transportation services to the border of the exporting country.

7.3. Movable goods treated as services in the international statistical standards are described in box 7.2.

7.2
MOVABLE GOODS INCLUDED IN SERVICES
Movable goods which, for convenience in compilation, are included in services are:

  • goods acquired for their own use by non- residents while travelling, working or studying in Australia and by residents while travelling, working or studying abroad - these goods are included in travel services;

  • goods purchased in Australia by foreign governments for their use in Australia and equivalent expenditure abroad by Australian governments - these goods are included in government services n.i.e.;

  • goods purchased in Australia by foreign government employees and their dependants while stationed in Australia and similarly goods purchased abroad by Australian government employees and their dependants while stationed abroad - these goods are included in government services n.i.e.;

  • goods acquired abroad by an Australian construction enterprise for the purpose of providing on site construction services, or acquired from abroad or in Australia by a foreign construction enterprise for the purpose of providing on site construction services in Australia (provided that the construction site office is not treated as a branch in the country of construction) - these goods are included in other business services.(For more detail see paragraphs 7.17 - 7.19.); and
  • goods which are included incidentally to the main transaction, which is the provision of a service.


  • 7.4. The classification of services in Australian balance of payments statistics is shown in table 7.3. Each of the broad categories in that classification is described in the next section.





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