Balance of Goods
The Balance of Goods records flows related to transactions (imports and exports) transferring the ownership of goods between residents and non-residents. Also, the Balance of Goods records merchanting transactions and the value of goods procured in ports by carriers. According to the new methodology based on the 6th edition of the IMF Balance of payments Manual, the value of the processing of goods and the value of the repair of goods are reclassified from goods to services account.
As from reference month July 2015, the Bank of Greece implements a significant change to its balance of payments compilation methodology, using ELSTAT’s trade statistics instead of the settlements data used until June 2015 inclusive. According to the new methodology, the goods trade balance statistics will reflect customs-based or other administrative data, as collected or estimated by ELSTAT. The adoption of the new source of data will be implemented retrospectively, going back to January 2013, a period for which historical data will be available.
ELSTAT’s trade statistics comprise: (i) statistics on imports and exports from and to non-EU countries (Extrastat), based on data collected from customs authorities through the Single Administrative Document; and (ii) intra-EU trade statistics (Intrastat), based on data collected through a special document submitted by enterprises (Intrastat document).
In ELSTAT's external trade statistics, the value of exports is reported in FOB (Free on Board) terms, while the value of exports is reported in CIF (Cost, Insurance, Freight) terms. Given that both exports and imports are reported in FOB terms in the balance of payments, the Bank of Greece converts the value of imports into FOB terms by applying a fixed 5% CIF/FOB conversion coefficient (i.e. FOB = CIF * (1-0.05)), and the resulting difference is allocated to transportation and insurance services by 4/5 and 1/5, respectively.
Moreover, in the compilation of the balance of goods (as is also the case with that of National Accounts) imports of goods include ELSTAT's estimate of the illicit trade in goods, which amounts to €1.5 billion annually. Finally, it should be pointed out that the recording of imports (purchases) and exports (sales) of ships in the balance of goods will continue to be based on data collected by the Bank of Greece.
More information relevant to the Incorporation of the Hellenic Statistical Authority's (ELSTAT) trade statistics into the balance of goods is available in the special Press Release.
Balance of Goods: annual data
Balance of Goods: quarterly data
Trade balance: annual data (BPM5)
Trade balance: quarterly data (BPM5)