Balance of payments

The balance of payments is a statistical table that records transactions between residents and non-residents, irrespective of the transaction currency, during a specified time period. 

The notions of ‘resident’ and ‘non-resident’ are based on the definitions set out by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the latest (6th edition) of its Balance of Payments Manual , and used for statistical purposes only.

Since reference month January 2015, the Bank of Greece has adjusted its methodology for compiling Greece's balance of payments to the recommendations and definitions of IMF-BPM6-Balance of Payments Manual (6th edition, 2009). Further information relevant to the transition from the 5th to the 6th edition is available in the special BPM6 Press Release. Historical data based on the new methodology are available from January 2002.

Today, the data collection mechanism used by the Bank of Greece for compiling the balance of payments is based on a ’mixed’ system. The main sources from which balance of payments data are drawn are:

  1. The direct reporting system of external sector transactions (known as DIREQT– direct reporting questionnaires by transacting parties), regardless of whether or not such transactions are processed with the intermediation of domestic credit institutions.
  2. The resident Monetary Financial Institutions (including the Bank of Greece), which are required to report monthly data to the Bank of Greece on all transactions between Greek residents with non-residents carried out  either on their own behalf or on behalf of their customers.

Other sources of statistical data for the balance of payments include the information provided by EL.STAT. on external trade statistics (based on intrastat/extrastat declarations), the General Accounting Office (Ministry of Finance), the Border Survey and the sea transport services data. A detailed presentation of the methods and statistical sources used by the EU countries for compiling their balance of payments and international investment position are included in the European Central Bank publication: European Union Balance of Payments and International Investment Position statistical sources and methods, November 2016 .

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