5302.0 - Balance of Payments and International Investment Position, Australia, Sep 2013 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 03/12/2013   
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Balance is the sum (net) of credit and debit entries for a subset of balance of payments components, for example, 'balance of trade', 'balance on current account'. See also the definition of 'deficit and surplus'.

Balance of payments

Balance of payments is a statistical statement that systematically summarises the economic transactions occurring between residents of Australia and residents of the rest of the world (non-residents) over a specific period of time. The balance of payments is a system of consolidated accounts in which many balances can be derived, such as the balances on goods and services, current account, capital account and financial account.

Balance of payments basis

Balance of payments basis is an accounting record for compiling international trade statistics which records transactions between residents and non-residents at the time of change of ownership rather than the time at which the import/export documents are lodged with a particular country's customs agency.

Balance on capital account

Balance on capital account is the sum (net) of credit and debit entries for acquisition/disposal of non-produced, non-financial assets and capital transfers.

Balance on current account

Balance on current account is an indicator frequently used for analysing the balance of payments. It is derived as the sum (net) of credit and debit entries for goods, services, primary income and secondary income.

Balance on financial account

Balance on financial account is the sum (net) of transactions in:

  • direct investment (assets less liabilities)
  • portfolio investment (assets less liabilities)
  • financial derivatives (assets less liabilities)
  • other investment (assets less liabilities), and
  • net change in the level of reserve assets.


BPM6 is the International Monetary Fund's Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual, Sixth Edition (BPM6). It is the current international standard adopted by Australia for the compilation of balance of payments and international investment statistics.

Capital account

Capital account comprises both acquisitions and disposals of non-produced, non-financial assets (such as patents and copyrights) and capital transfers.

Capital transfers

Capital transfers include the offsets to one-sided transactions of a capital nature, for example, Australian grants or gifts to developing countries for capital works projects such as the building of schools, roads and bridges.

Chain price indexes

Chain price indexes are annually-reweighted chain Laspeyres price indexes referenced to the same year as the chain volume measures. They can be thought of as a series of indexes measuring price change from a base year to quarters in the following year using current price values in the base year as weights, linked together to form a continuous time series. In other words, chain price indexes are constructed in a similar fashion to the chain volume indexes. Quarterly chain price indexes are benchmarked to annual chain price indexes in the same way as their chain volume counterparts. Unlike implicit price deflators, chain price indexes measure only the impact of price change.

Chain volume measures

Chain volume measures are annually-reweighted chain Laspeyres volume indexes referenced to the current price values in a chosen reference year (i.e. the year when the quarterly chain volume measures sum to the current price annual values). Chain Laspeyres volume measures are compiled by linking together (compounding) movements in volumes, calculated using the average prices of the previous financial year, and applying the compounded movements to the current price estimates in a chosen reference year (i.e. the year when the quarterly chain volume measures sum to the current price annual values). The reference year is updated with the release of each September quarter issue of this publication.

Compensation of employees

Compensation of employees is the total remuneration, in cash or in kind, payable by enterprises to employees in return for work done during the accounting period.

Composite corporate benchmark yield

Composite corporate benchmark yield refers to the representative yield of long-term corporate bonds.

Current account

Current account comprises of transactions between Australia and the rest of the world in goods, services, primary income, and secondary income. It is distinguished from the capital and financial accounts.

Deficit and surplus

A deficit occurs when the sum of all debit entries exceeds the sum of all credit entries, and a surplus occurs when the sum of all credit entries exceeds the sum of all debit entries. The term deficit (or surplus) can therefore be used in relation to various balances, e.g. balance on current account.


Dividends are the distribution of earnings allocated to shares and other forms of participation in the equity of incorporated private enterprises, co-operatives, and public corporations. It is a form of investment income to which shareholders become entitled as a result of placing funds at the disposal of corporations (e.g. by buying shares). Dividends are recorded on an accrual basis (on the date the underlying equity becomes ex-dividend).

Double entry system

Double entry system is the internationally accepted accounting principle of recording two equal entries for each transaction. Credit entries are used to record exports of goods and services, income receivable and financial transactions involving either a reduction in Australia's foreign financial assets or an increase in its foreign liabilities. Conversely, debit entries are used to record imports of goods and services, income payable and financial transactions involving either an increase in Australia's foreign financial assets or decrease in foreign liabilities. Any entries that are not automatically paired are matched by special offsetting entries (current or capital transfers).

Exchange rate changes (exchange rate variations)

Exchange rate changes (exchange rate variations) are the impact on the stock of financial liabilities and assets due to the changes in exchange rate between the Australian dollar and other currencies in which these liabilities and assets are denominated.


Exports are commodities and other goods or services sold by residents to non-residents.

Financial account

Financial account, as a part of the balance of payments records all transactions between residents and non-residents, associated with a change of ownership of foreign financial assets and liabilities during the period including the creation and liquidation of financial claims.

Foreign financial assets (and foreign financial liabilities)

Foreign financial assets and their matching liabilities are claims by a resident of one economy upon a resident of another economy. The existence of such claims, therefore, generally will be recorded on two balance sheets, namely the balance sheet of the transactor against which the claims are held as liabilities, and the balance sheet of the holder of the claims who will record the transactions as assets. Foreign financial assets include resident owned corporate equities, bonds, and notes issued by foreign enterprises.

Gross domestic product (GDP)

Gross domestic product (GDP) is the total market value of goods and services produced in Australia within a given period after deducting the cost of goods and services used up in the process of production but before deducting allowances for the consumption of fixed capital. It is defined 'at market prices'. It is equivalent to gross national expenditure plus exports of goods and services less imports of goods and services.

Gross national income (GNI)

Gross national income (GNI) is the aggregate value of gross primary incomes for all institutional sectors, including net primary income receivable from non-residents.


Imports are commodities and other goods or services purchased by residents from non-residents.

Income on equity and investment fund shares

Income on equity and investment fund shares includes dividends and distributed branch profits and any distributions made by investment funds. It also includes reinvested earnings on direct investments and reinvested earnings on investment fund shares.


Interest is income earned by holders of traded debt securities and non-traded debt assets such as loans, deposits and trade credits.

International accounts ratios

International account ratios provide an indication of a country's ability to service debt and to sustain current account balances.

Investment fund shares

Investment fund shares are units or shares in pooled investment vehicles such as wholesale equity funds and cash management trusts.

Investment income

Investment income is income generated by financial assets. This includes dividends paid on direct and portfolio equity investments and interest paid on debt securities and other debt instruments.

Non-produced, non-financial assets

Non-produced, non-financial assets comprise intangible assets recorded in the capital account such as sales of patents, copyrights, trademarks and franchises, and certain transactions in embassy land (tangible assets, transacted infrequently).


Non-resident refers to any economic entity (individual, enterprise or other organisation) ordinarily domiciled in a country other than Australia. Note that foreign branches and foreign subsidiaries of Australian enterprises and other external territories are regarded as non-residents.

Price changes

Price changes show the change in the market value of positions between the beginning and the end of the period that is due to a change in market prices. For equity positions the relevant market prices may be listed share prices or some other estimate of market value and for debt positions the relevant market prices may be interest rates.

Primary income

Primary income account shows primary income flows between resident and non-resident institutional units. The international accounts distinguish the following types of primary income:
  • compensation of employees
  • dividends
  • reinvested earnings
  • interest
  • investment income attributable to policy holders in insurance, standardised guarantees, and pension funds
  • rent
  • taxes and subsidies on products and production.

Reinvested earnings

Reinvested earnings are the earnings of a business enterprise that are not paid out as dividends or other distributions to investors in the enterprise. Reinvested earnings are retained by the enterprise to fund future business activities.

Remitted profits

Remitted profits are the earnings which overseas branches and other unincorporated enterprises remit to or from their Australian corporate head office.

Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA)

Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) is Australia's central bank. The RBA's main functions include monetary policy development, the issue of national currency, provision of banking services to the Commonwealth government sector, and acting as a custodians of the country's reserve deposits and international reserves.


Residents include all economic entities that have a closer association (geographic and economic) with the territory of Australia than with any other territory. Residents include any individual, enterprise or other organisation ordinarily domiciled in Australia. See also "Non-resident".

Please note that Australian registered branches and incorporated subsidiaries of foreign enterprises are regarded as Australian residents.

Rest of the world (ROW)

Rest of the world (ROW) consists of all non-resident institutional units which undertake international trade or have other economic links with resident units.

Secondary Income

Secondary income includes current transfers that offset the provision of resources that are normally consumed within a short period (less than twelve months) after the transfer is made. Examples include food aid, remittances from residents temporarily abroad, and remuneration received by international students undertaking university studies.


A transaction is an economic flow that reflects the creation, transformation, exchange, transfer, or extinction of economic value and involves changes in ownership of goods and/or financial assets, the provision of services, or the provision of labour and capital. The transactions recorded in the international investment position (IIP) reconciliation statement are the same as the transactions recorded in the financial account of the balance of payments.


Transfer is a one-sided transaction such as gift, grant, tax, etc. where one transactor provides something of economic value to another but does not receive a quid pro quo to which an economic value can be assigned. In order to maintain the double entry system of accounting, the value provided is matched in the accounts by an offsetting entry which is referred to as a transfer. See also the definitions for "secondary income" and "capital transfers".

Volume changes

Volume changes show the change in the market value of positions between the beginning and the end of the period that is due to factors other than transactions, price changes and exchange rate changes. Volume changes include those due to the write-off of debt, reclassifications and changes in financial assets and liabilities due to migration.