CONCEPTS, SOURCES AND METHODS
1 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, <http://www.abs.gov.au>, by selecting ‘About Statistics’ then ‘Concepts and Classifications’.
2 In keeping with BOP conventions, credit items (exports) are shown without sign and debit items (imports) are shown as negative entries.
CARE TO BE EXERCISED
3 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).
4 Care should also be exercised whenever either the residual country groupings designated ‘not elsewhere specified’ (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 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 (cat. no. 5331.0).
RELATED PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
6 Data for detailed exports and imports of goods on the recorded trade basis, dissected by commodity or by country basis, are available on AusStats <http://www.abs.gov.au>. Users requiring detailed country by commodity data should contact Client Services. Contact details are shown on the back of this publication.
7 More detailed information on income and financial accounts, is available in International Investment Position, Australia: Supplementary Country Statistics (cat.no. 5352.0).
8 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 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.