The balance of payments (BOP) is one of Australia's key sets of economic statistics. It measures the economic transactions between Australia and the rest of the world. These economic transactions include exports and imports of goods and services, income flows such as dividends and interest, financial flows such as increases in debt or investment in shares, and transfers, such as foreign aid.
The balance of payments is closely related to Australia's international investment position (IIP) statistics, which measure the level of foreign investment in Australia and Australian investment abroad. These statistics include Australia's foreign debt.
This article is a GUIDE to the BOP and IIP statistics. It is intended as an introduction to the concepts and data, and tries not to go into too much detail. The dissemination section below indicates where the user can access greater detail.
The major sections of this article are:
Dissemination - covering the main publications (and electronic data sets) containing BOP and IIP data, and information about them
Definitions and Concepts - simplified versions of the main concepts used in these statistics
Classifications - how the data are classified for publication and the meaning of particular data items
Analytical Tools - covers seasonal adjustment, price deflators, ratios used by analysts etc
Relationship to the National Accounts - shows where the BOP and IIP fit within the national accounting framework
Data Quality - measures of quality of these statistics
Data Sources - the main surveys and collections used in compiling the BOP and IIP.