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Release: Balance of Payments, Q1 2012

Released: 28 June 2012 Next edition: 27 September 2012

Contact

John Bundey

Balance of Payments

bop@ons.gsi.gov.uk

Telephone: +44 (0)1633 455185

Categories: Economy, National Accounts, Balance of Payments

Frequency of release: Quarterly

Language: English

Geographical coverage: UK

Geographical breakdown: UK

Correction

12 July 2012

A production error has been discovered in Table C of the Balance of Payments, Q1 2012, originally published on 28 June 2012. The error affects 2011 annual data and 2011 quarterly data for exports of services, imports of services, total exports of goods and services, total imports of goods and services, total credits, total debits, and balances for these periods. The Balance of Payments Statistical Bulletin, time series data, Excel and PDF tables have been affected and have now been updated.

A production error has also been discovered in the 1995 and 1996 seasonally adjusted quarterly data for current transfers. The revisions are for time periods earlier than those shown in the statistical bulletin data tables, but the most recent years' data for these timeseries are shown in table H and also in tables A and B. The current transfers data affected are credits, debits, balances, total credits, total debits and the total balance. Also affected are the 1995 and 1996 quarterly data for:

  • The current account total credits and total debits (shown in table B),

  • The current account balance (shown in tables A and B),

  • The current transfers balance as a percentage of GDP and the current account balance as a percentage of GDP (shown in table B).

  • The annual data are not affected by this error. The Balance of Payments time series data have now been updated.

16 August 2012

A production error has been discovered in the 1987 to 1996 seasonally adjusted quarterly data for investment income. The revisions are for time periods earlier than those shown in the Balance of Payments statistical bulletin tables, but the most recent years' data for the affected timeseries are shown in tables G, B and A. Also affected are the 1987 to 1996 quarterly data for the current account balance, the current account balance as a percentage of GDP, and the income balance as a percentage of GDP. The annual data are not affected by this error.

The following series relate to the data published in table G:

Income credits - CGDU, CGDV, HBOK, HBOH,
Income debits - CGEB, HBOL, HBOI,
Income balances - CGED, CGEE, CGFF, HBOM, HBOJ.

The following series relate to the data published in table B:

Credits - HBOK, HBOH, HBON,
Debits - HBOL, HBOI, HBOO,
Balances - HBOM, HBOJ, HBOP,
Balances as percentages of GDP - D28M, AA6H.

The following series relate to the data published in table A:

HBOM, HBOJ, HBOP.

A production error has also been discovered in the 1987 to 1996 annual data for balances in the current account as percentages of GDP. The revisions are for time periods earlier than those shown in the Balance of Payments statistical bulletin tables, but the most recent years' data for the affected timeseries are shown in table B. The quarterly data are not affected by this error. The affected series are: D28J, D28K, D28L, D28M, AA6H.

As previously notified, the balance of payments geographical breakdowns of the current account prior to 2010q1 were not updated when this dataset was published on 28 June 2012. At that point they had not yet been revised in line with revisions to the main balance of payments dataset. This work has now been completed and the data for transactions with the European Union (EU) and with non-EU countries have now been revised in this dataset. The revisions are for time periods earlier than those shown in the Balance of Payments statistical bulletin tables, but the most recent years' data for the revised timeseries are shown in table C.

ONS apologises for any inconvenience caused.

Key points

The key points from this release are:
  • The UK’s current account deficit was £11.2 billion in the first quarter of 2012, up from a revised deficit of £7.2 billion in the previous quarter.

  • The trade deficit widened to £7.8 billion in the first quarter of 2012, up from £5.6 billion the previous quarter.

  • The income surplus was £2.2 billion, down from £4.4 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011.

  • The financial account recorded net inward investment of £1.7 billion during the first quarter of 2012.

  • The international investment position recorded UK net liabilities of £132.3 billion at the end of the first quarter 2012.

Contains summary of balance of payments accounts and detailed statistics for the current account including - trade in goods and services, income, current and capital transfers, transactions in UK external assets and liabilities, and levels of identified assets and liabilities.

The United Kingdom Statistics Authority has designated these statistics as National Statistics, in accordance with the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 and signifying compliance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

Designation can be broadly interpreted to mean that the statistics:

  • meet identified user needs;
  • are well explained and readily accessible;
  • are produced according to sound methods; and
  • are managed impartially and objectively in the public interest.

Once statistics have been designated as National Statistics it is a statutory requirement that the Code of Practice shall continue to be observed.

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