Glossary:Balance of payments

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The balance of payments is a statistical summary of the transactions of a given economy with the rest of the world. It comprises three elements:

  • the current account covers international transactions in goods, services, income, and current transfers;
  • the financial account deals with transactions involving financial claims on, or liabilities to, the rest of the world, including international purchases of securities, such as stocks and bonds;
  • the capital account covers international capital transfers (e.g. debt forgiveness) and the acquisition/disposal of non-produced, nonfinancial assets (such as patents).

Related concepts

Statistical data