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5338.0 - Balance of Payments, Australia: Regional Series, 2001-02  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 17/02/2003   
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1. Concepts, Sources and Methods

The conceptual framework used in Australia’s balance of payments (BOP) and international investment position (IIP) statistics is based on the Fifth Edition of the International Monetary Fund’s Balance of Payments Manual (BPM5, 1993). This framework is summarised in the 1998 edition of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) publication Balance of Payments and International Investment Position, Australia: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 5331.0). As well as providing descriptions of the underlying concepts and structure of the BOP and IIP, 5331.0 also describes the sources, methods and terms used in compiling Australia’s BOP and IIP statistics. The publication is available on the ABS web site, by selecting ‘About Statistics’ then ‘Concepts and Classifications’.

3. Data availability

The ABS normally uses international airline passenger card information processed by the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA) to produce estimates of overseas arrivals and departures by residents and non-residents and estimates of travel services by partner country. However, for the financial year 2000-01, the distribution of Australia’s trade in travel services by partner country has been allocated based on earlier patterns. This method has been used due to a continuing delay in the processing, by DIMIA, of the passenger cards for that year. The distribution of data by country for all other financial years has been made based on the actual pattern of overseas arrivals and departures obtained from the passenger cards.

4. Care to be exercised

Care should be exercised in interpreting country data. In the first instance, source data often do not identify the country of the non-resident transactor. Imports of goods are largely classified by the country of origin of the goods rather than by the country from which Australia buys the goods. For example, goods from People’s Republic of China that are bought by traders in Hong Kong (SAR of China) and then on-sold to Australia will appear as imports from People’s Republic of China, not from Hong Kong (SAR of China).

Care should also be exercised whenever either the residual country groupings designated ‘not elsewhere specified’ (or n.e.s.) or when the designated ‘unallocated’ category are significant for the table. Not elsewhere specified (n.e.s.) categories include: data for those countries in the region that are not separately identified in the tables; and data that are reported for the region as a whole but which cannot be allocated by country.

5. Reconciliation

A reconciliation of the current, capital and financial accounts by individual country or region is not possible as goods and services purchased from or sold to another country may be financed by capital raised in a third country. For an explanation refer to Balance of Payments and International Investment Position, Australia: Concepts, Sources and Methods, 1998 (cat. no. 5331.0).

6. Related products and services

Detailed data of exports and imports of goods dissected by commodity and country are available on an international trade basis by contacting the National Information and Referral Service.

More detailed income information, and financial account information, is available in International Investment Position, Australia: Supplementary Country Statistics ( 5352.0).

Users may also wish to refer to the following publications which are available from ABS Bookshops. The first four publications are available for free on the ABS web site.

  • A Guide to Australian Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Statistics cat. no. 5362.0.55.001
  • Balance of Payments and International Investment Position, Australia: Concepts, Sources and Methods, cat. no. 5331.0
  • Information Paper: Quality of Australian Balance of Payments Statistics, cat. no. 5342.0
  • International Merchandise Trade, Australia: Concepts, Sources and Methods, cat. no. 5489.0
  • Balance of Payments and International Investment Position, Australia, cat. no. 5302.0 - issued quarterly
  • International Merchandise Trade, Australia, cat. no. 5422.0 - issued quarterly
  • International Investment Position, Australia: Supplementary Country statistics, cat. no. 5352.0-issued annually
  • International Trade in Goods and Services, Australia, cat. no. 5368.0 - issued monthly.

Symbols and Other Usages

thousand million
not available
not elsewhere specified
not available for publication but included in totals where applicable
nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)

All values are shown in Australian dollars rounded to the nearest million.

Where figures have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between the sums of the component items and totals.


The following abbreviations have been used in this publication.

Australian Bureau of Statistics
Australian investment abroad
Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation
Association of South East Asian Nations
Balance of payments
Balance of Payments Manual, 5th Edition, International Monetary Fund
Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs
European Union
Foreign investment in Australia
International investment position
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
Special Administrative Region

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