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Balance of Payments Accounting The Balance of Payments is the statistical record of a country’s international transactions over a certain period of time presented in the form of double-entry bookkeeping.

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balance of payments accounting
Balance of Payments Accounting
  • The Balance of Payments is the statistical record of a country’s international transactions over a certain period of time presented in the form of double-entry bookkeeping.

N.B. when we say “a country’s balance of payments” we are referring to the transactions of its citizens and government.

balance of payments example
Balance of Payments Example
  • Suppose that Maplewood Bicycle in Maplewood, Missouri, USA imports $100,000 worth of bicycle frames from Mercian Bicycles in Darby England.
  • There will exist a $100,000 credit recorded by Mercian that offsets a $100,000 debit at Maplewood’s bank account.
  • This will lead to a rise in the supply of dollars and the demand for British pounds.
balance of payments accounts
Balance of Payments Accounts
  • The balance of payments accounts are those that record all transactions between the residents of a country and residents of all foreign nations.
  • They are composed of the following:
    • The Current Account
    • The Capital Account
    • The Official Reserves Account
    • Statistical Discrepancy
the current account
The Current Account
  • Includes all imports and exports of goods and services (invisible trade).
  • Includes unilateral transfers of foreign aid.
  • If the debits exceed the credits, then a country is running a trade deficit.
  • If the credits exceed the debits, then a country is running a trade surplus.
  • It is thought that the CA responds to changes in income and the exchange rate.
what affects the ca
What affects the CA?

CA surplus

S ↑ → Domestic Depreciation

Domestic Income (Y)

0

Y0

Y1

CA(S1)

CA(S0)

CA deficit

the capital account
The Capital Account
  • The capital account measures the difference between U.S. sales of assets to foreigners and U.S. purchases of foreign assets.
  • The U.S. enjoys about a $444,000,000,000 capital account surplus—absent of U.S. borrowing from foreigners, this “finances” our trade deficit.
  • The capital account is composed of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), portfolio investments and other investments.
slide8

What affects the KA?

KA

KA surplus

r - r*

KA deficit

statistical discrepancy
Statistical Discrepancy
  • There’s going to be some omissions and misrecorded transactions—so we use a “plug” figure to get things to balance.
  • Exhibit 3.1 shows a discrepancy of $0.73 billion in 2000.
the official reserves account
The Official Reserves Account
  • Official reserves assets include gold, foreign currencies, SDRs, reserve positions in the IMF.
the balance of payments identity
The Balance of Payments Identity

BCA + BKA + BRA = 0

where

BCA = balance on current account

BKA = balance on capital account

BRA = balance on the reserves account

Under a pure flexible exchange rate regime,

BCA + BKA = 0

Because BRA = 0

u s balance of payments data

Credits

Debits

Current Account

1

Exports

$1,418.64

2

Imports

($1,809.18)

3

Unilateral Transfers

$10.24

($64.39)

Balance on Current Account

($444.69)

Capital Account

0.73

4

Direct Investment

$287.68

($152.44)

5

Portfolio Investment

$474.39

($124.94)

6

Other Investments

$262.64

($303.27)

Balance on Capital Account

$444.26

7

Statistical Discrepancies

Overall Balance

$0.30

Official Reserve Account

($0.30)

U.S. Balance of Payments Data
u s balance of payments data14

Credits

Debits

Current Account

1

Exports

$1,418.64

2

Imports

($1,809.18)

3

Unilateral Transfers

$10.24

($64.39)

Balance on Current Account

($444.69)

Capital Account

0.73

4

Direct Investment

$287.68

($152.44)

5

Portfolio Investment

$474.39

($124.94)

6

Other Investments

$262.64

($303.27)

Balance on Capital Account

$444.26

7

Statistical Discrepancies

Overall Balance

$0.30

Official Reserve Account

($0.30)

U.S. Balance of Payments Data

In 2000, the U.S. imported more than it exported, thus running a current account deficit of $444.69 billion.

u s balance of payments data15

Credits

Debits

Current Account

1

Exports

$1,418.64

2

Imports

($1,809.18)

3

Unilateral Transfers

$10.24

($64.39)

Balance on Current Account

($444.69)

Capital Account

0.73

4

Direct Investment

$287.68

($152.44)

5

Portfolio Investment

$474.39

($124.94)

6

Other Investments

$262.64

($303.27)

Balance on Capital Account

$444.26

7

Statistical Discrepancies

Overall Balance

$0.30

Official Reserve Account

($0.30)

U.S. Balance of Payments Data

During the same year, the U.S. attracted net investment of $444.26 billion—clearly the rest of the world found the U.S. to be a good place to invest.

u s balance of payments data16

Credits

Debits

Current Account

1

Exports

$1,418.64

2

Imports

($1,809.18)

3

Unilateral Transfers

$10.24

($64.39)

Balance on Current Account

($444.69)

Capital Account

0.73

4

Direct Investment

$287.68

($152.44)

5

Portfolio Investment

$474.39

($124.94)

6

Other Investments

$262.64

($303.27)

Balance on Capital Account

$444.26

7

Statistical Discrepancies

Overall Balance

$0.30

Official Reserve Account

($0.30)

U.S. Balance of Payments Data

Under a pure flexible exchange rate regime, these numbers would balance each other out.

u s balance of payments data17

Credits

Debits

Current Account

1

Exports

$1,418.64

2

Imports

($1,809.18)

3

Unilateral Transfers

$10.24

($64.39)

Balance on Current Account

($444.69)

Capital Account

0.73

4

Direct Investment

$287.68

($152.44)

5

Portfolio Investment

$474.39

($124.94)

6

Other Investments

$262.64

($303.27)

Balance on Capital Account

$444.26

7

Statistical Discrepancies

Overall Balance

$0.30

Official Reserve Account

($0.30)

U.S. Balance of Payments Data

In the real world, there is a statistical discrepancy.

u s balance of payments data18

Credits

Debits

Current Account

1

Exports

$1,418.64

2

Imports

($1,809.18)

3

Unilateral Transfers

$10.24

($64.39)

Balance on Current Account

($444.69)

Capital Account

0.73

4

Direct Investment

$287.68

($152.44)

5

Portfolio Investment

$474.39

($124.94)

6

Other Investments

$262.64

($303.27)

Balance on Capital Account

$444.26

7

Statistical Discrepancies

Overall Balance

$0.30

Official Reserve Account

($0.30)

U.S. Balance of Payments Data

Including that, the balance of payments identity should hold:

BCA + BKA = – BRA

($444.69) + $444.26 + $0.73 = $0.30= –($0.30)

balance of payments and the exchange rate

Credits

Debits

Current Account

1

Exports

$1,418.64

2

Imports

($1,809.18)

3

Unilateral Transfers

$10.24

($64.39)

Balance on Current Account

($444.69)

Capital Account

0.73

4

Direct Investment

$287.68

($152.44)

5

Portfolio Investment

$474.39

($124.94)

6

Other Investments

$262.64

($303.27)

Balance on Capital Account

$444.26

7

Statistical Discrepancies

Overall Balance

$0.30

Official Reserve Account

($0.30)

Balance of Payments and the Exchange Rate

Exchange rate $

P

S

D

Q

balance of payments and the exchange rate20

Credits

Debits

Current Account

1

Exports

$1,418.64

2

Imports

($1,809.18)

3

Unilateral Transfers

$10.24

($64.39)

Balance on Current Account

($444.69)

Capital Account

0.73

4

Direct Investment

$287.68

($152.44)

5

Portfolio Investment

$474.39

($124.94)

6

Other Investments

$262.64

($303.27)

Balance on Capital Account

$444.26

7

Statistical Discrepancies

Overall Balance

$0.30

Official Reserve Account

($0.30)

Balance of Payments and the Exchange Rate

Exchange rate $

P

S

D

Q

As U.S. citizens import, they are supply dollars to the FOREX market.

balance of payments and the exchange rate21

Credits

Debits

Current Account

1

Exports

$1,418.64

2

Imports

($1,809.18)

3

Unilateral Transfers

$10.24

($64.39)

Balance on Current Account

($444.69)

Capital Account

0.73

4

Direct Investment

$287.68

($152.44)

5

Portfolio Investment

$474.39

($124.94)

6

Other Investments

$262.64

($303.27)

Balance on Capital Account

$444.26

7

Statistical Discrepancies

Overall Balance

$0.30

Official Reserve Account

($0.30)

Balance of Payments and the Exchange Rate

Exchange rate $

P

S

D

Q

As U.S. citizens export, others demand dollars at the FOREX market.

balance of payments and the exchange rate22

Credits

Debits

Current Account

1

Exports

$1,418.64

2

Imports

($1,809.18)

3

Unilateral Transfers

$10.24

($64.39)

Balance on Current Account

($444.69)

Capital Account

0.73

4

Direct Investment

$287.68

($152.44)

5

Portfolio Investment

$474.39

($124.94)

6

Other Investments

$262.64

($303.27)

Balance on Capital Account

$444.26

7

Statistical Discrepancies

Overall Balance

$0.30

Official Reserve Account

($0.30)

Balance of Payments and the Exchange Rate

Exchange rate $

P

S

S1

D

Q

As the U.S. government sells dollars, the supply of dollars increases.

balance of payments trends
Balance of Payments Trends
  • Since 1982 the U.S. has experienced continuous deficits on the current account and continuous surpluses on the capital account.
  • During the same period, China has experienced the opposite.
balances on the current bca and capital bka accounts of the united states
Balances on the Current (BCA) and Capital (BKA) Accounts of the United States

Source: IMF International Financial Statistics Yearbook, 2000

balances on the current bca and capital bka accounts of united kingdom
Balances on the Current (BCA) and Capital (BKA) Accounts of United Kingdom

Source: IMF International Financial Statistics Yearbook, 2000

balances on the current bca and capital bka accounts of japan
Balances on the Current (BCA) and Capital (BKA) Accounts of Japan

Source: IMF International Financial Statistics Yearbook, 2000

balances on the current bca and capital bka accounts of germany
Balances on the Current (BCA) and Capital (BKA) Accounts of Germany

Source: IMF International Financial Statistics Yearbook, 2000

balances on the current bca and capital bka accounts of china
Balances on the Current (BCA) and Capital (BKA) Accounts of China

Source: IMF International Financial Statistics Yearbook, 2000

balance of payments and national income accounting
Balance of Payments and National Income Accounting
  • GNP = Y = C + I + G + X – M
  • Y = C + S + T
  • X – M = (S- I) + (T- G)
  • If a developing economy experiences large trade deficits (X-M <0), the remedies are:
  • Savings must increase, S↑
  • Investment must fall, I↓
  • Government spending must fall, G↓
  • Taxes must rise, T↑