5342.0 - Balance of Payments Statistics, Information Paper on Quality , 1996  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/02/1996   
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2.50. As described earlier, some assessment of the accuracy of the balance of payments can be made by examining the balancing item. This is only one of a number of accounting balances that can be established in economic statistics that may be useful in assessing the accuracy of the balance of payments.

2.51. Within international investment statistics, for example, collections are designed to capture capital flows and stocks together. Essentially, the level of financial claims (financial assets and liabilities) at the end of a given period will be equal to the level of claims at the end of the previous period, plus net transactions in financial claims, plus other changes in financial claims during the period. For example, the level of lending by a bank at the end of a period will equal the level of lending at the end of the previous period plus drawdowns, less repayments of loans during the period, plus other changes to the actual value of claims at the end of a period. These other changes arise mainly from market price fluctuations (in the case of marketable claims), write-offs and, for claims denominated in foreign currencies, variations in exchange rates. In international investment statistics all these elements are accounted for; nevertheless there may be residual statistical errors (other than sample error) which can arise from reporting errors. These residuals are examined closely and any large discrepancies are queried with data providers to minimise errors.

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