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.
7.2. 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.
7.4. 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.
7.1 SERVICES CREDITS AND DEBITS, 1996-97
|Computer and information|
|Royalties and licence fees|
|Personal, cultural, and recreational|
|Government services n.i.e.|
Source: Balance of Payments and International Investment Position, Australia, March quarter 1998 (Cat. no. 5302.0).