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THE ABS AND BALANCE OF PAYMENTS STATISTICS

The balance of payments (BOP) is one of Australia's key sets of economic statistics. BOP records economic transactions between residents of Australia and residents of the rest of the world.

These economic transactions include:
  • exports and imports of goods, for example, agricultural products, metal ores and minerals, clothing, computing equipment, transport equipment, furniture and whitegoods;
  • exports and imports of services, for example, travel, transportation, communication services, royalties and licence fees;
  • income flows such as dividends and interest earned by non-residents on investments located within Australia, and dividends and interest payments accruing to Australian residents from their investments abroad;
  • financial flows from investments in shares; and
  • transfers, which are offsets to one-sided transactions such as foreign aid, debt forgiveness, and the value of assets including household and personal effects which accompany migrants to their new home.

The balance of payments is closely related to Australia's international investment position (IIP) statistics, which provide a reconciliation of the stock of foreign investment in Australia and Australian investment abroad.

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