Front Matter

Front Matter

International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
Published Date:
February 2019
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January 30, 2019

Executive Summary

The 2018 Annual Report of the IMF Committee on Balance of Payments Statistics (the Committee) provides an overview of recent trends in global balance of payments and international investment position (IIP) statistics, summarizes the Committee’s work during 2018, and presents the work program of the Committee in the coming year.

During 2018, the IMF Statistics Department (STA), in consultation with the Committee, continued work on the statistical implications of technological change (e.g., digital trade, crypto assets, trade financing), globalization and global value chains. It also worked on global and national coverage gaps related to cross-border financial interconnectedness, special purpose entities (SPEs) and the informal economy. On the availability of more comprehensive external sector statistics (ESS) to support external sector assessments and global spillover analysis, STA continued work on improving the IMF balance sheet analysis, including on the availability of the IIP broken down by currency as well as on portfolio positions broken down by country and sector of securities’ issuers and holders. On the latter, the Committee initiated a proof of concept for setting up a centralized database hosted by the IMF for economies to exchange information on the institutional sector of nonresident issuers of securities. STA continued providing guidance on emerging conceptual and methodological issues.

In 2019, the top priorities of the Committee’s work will continue to be the impact in ESS of globalization and global value chains; emerging technologies and digitalization; SPEs and the informal economy; and emerging issues such as the treatment of reserve assets in ESS within a centralized currency union. The Committee will also focus on providing methodological guidance on issues identified in its research agenda; and on addressing data gaps for reducing global and bilateral asymmetries.

The full set of papers presented at the Committee’s 2018 meeting is available at

Approved By

Louis Marc Ducharme

Prepared by Carlos Sanchez-Muhoz, Paul Austin, Alicia Hierro, and Tamara Razin of the Statistics Department

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