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The Pink Book 2013, Part 3: Geographical Breakdown This product is designated as National Statistics

Released: 31 July 2013 (Latest) Next edition: 31 October 2014 Download PDF

An introduction to the United Kingdom balance of payments

The balance of payments is one of the UK’s key economic statistical series. It measures the economic transactions between UK residents and the rest of the world. It also draws a series of balances between inward and outward transactions, provides a net flow of transactions between UK residents and the rest of the world and reports how that flow is funded. Economic transactions include:

  • exports and imports of goods, such as oil, agricultural products, other raw materials, machinery and transport equipment, computers, white goods and clothing,

  • exports and imports of services such as international transport, travel, financial and business services,

  • income flows, such as dividends and interest earned by foreigners on investments in the UK and by UK residents investing abroad,

  • financial flows, such as direct invesment, investment in shares, debt securities, loans and deposits, and

  • transfers, which are offsetting entries to any one-sided transactions listed above, such as foreign aid and funds brought by migrants to the UK.

Closely related to the balance of payments is the international investment position series of statistics. The international investment position measures the levels of financial investment with the rest of the world, inward and outward.

The full version of the introduction to the United Kingdom balance of payments provides an overview of the concepts and coverage of the UK Balance of Payments.

A glossary of terms used in the UK balance of payments is available on the National Statistics website.

More detailed methodological notes for the UK balance of payments are also available on the website.

Chapter 9: Geographical breakdown of the current account

Summary

The tables appearing in this chapter show a geographical breakdown of the current account. The data cover 67 individual countries as well as international organisations. These estimates are generally less firmly based than the world totals, and data for earlier years are less reliable than recent figures. In some cases estimates are unavailable for the first few years.

Changes to the pattern of trading associated with Missing Trader Intra-Community (MTIC) fraud can make it difficult to analyse trade by country, as changes in the impact of activity associated with this fraud (which includes carousel fraud) affect both imports and exports. Originally, most carousel chains only involved European Union (EU) member states. From 2004 in particular, some carousel chains included non-EU countries, for example Switzerland. However, the MTIC trade adjustments are added to the EU import estimates as it is this part of the chain that is not generally recorded. For more information, see the methodological notes relating to chapter 2.

Data are presented as if the EU expanded to 27 countries on 1 January 1999.

Current account by region

Figure 9.1: Current account

Credits less debits

Figure 9.1: Current account

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Current account surpluses were recorded with the Americas and Australasia & Oceania in all years from 1992 when data became available. The current account surplus with the Americas increased from £34.1 billion in 2011 to £37.6 billion in 2012. This increase was mainly due to an increase in the trade in goods and services surplus, up £1.7 billion in 2012. In contrast, the UK has consistently recorded a current account deficit with Europe, rising to a record £94.9 billion in 2012. This large rise in the deficit figure for Europe has been due to the fall in credit income of £30.7 billion substantially exceeding the fall in debit income of £1.6 billion. There was a surplus with Asia for the years 1994 to 1997 but a deficit in all years since then. The current account deficit with Asia decreased to £7.9 billion in 2012 from a deficit of £12.1 billion in 2011.

For Australasia & Oceania the current account surplus of £7.8 billion recorded in 2011 rose slightly to £8.3 billion in 2012, this was due to credits increasing by more than debits. Credits increased by £1.1 billion with debits only increasing by £0.6 billion.

The current account surplus with Africa has decreased to £0.7 billion in 2012 after being at a record high of £2.2 billion in 2011. The current account with Africa was in surplus up to 1999, with the first deficit of £1.3 billion being recorded in 2000. In 2006 the deficit increased to £3.6 billion, but narrowed to £1.2 billion in 2009. In 2010 credits rose by 27% to £24.5 billion and debits only rose by 9% to £22.4 billion. These increases in current account credits and debits saw the 10 years of current account deficit with Africa return to a surplus, where it has remained.

In 2012, Europe accounted for 50% of the current account credit transactions and 59% of the current account debit transactions. Within Europe, the EU 27 member countries (EU27) accounted for 83% of current account credits and 84% of debits. By component, trade in goods accounted for 51% of the value of current account credits and 59% of the value of debits with Europe; with trade in services accounting for 27% of credits and 16% of debits, and income 19% of credits and 20% of debits.

Figure 9.2: Proportion of total 2012 credits

Figure 9.2: Proportion of total 2012 credits

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The Americas accounted for 25% of total credits and 18% of total debits in 2012. The goods and services transactions together accounted for 65% of credits and 53% of debits with the Americas. The United States of America (USA) was the most significant country, representing 77% of the total current account credits and 78% of the debits in the region.

Asia accounted for 18% of UK current account credits and 18% of debits in 2012. In 2012 China, Hong Kong, Japan and Residual Gulf Arabian countries each accounted for 12% of the UK’s current account credit in Asia. In terms of the UK’s current account debits, China retains its position as number one in the region since 2007 with 26%, unchanged from 2011. Japan is second with 17%, also unchanged from 2011.

Figure 9.3: Proportion of total 2012 debits

Figure 9.3: Proportion of total 2012 debits

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Current account with EU27, USA and Japan

Figure 9.4: Current account balances with the EU27

Figure 9.4: Current account balances with the EU27

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A current account deficit has been recorded with the EU27 in every year from 1999, when data became available. In 2012, the income account has also fallen into deficit mainly due to large falls in credits overriding smaller falls in debits to reach a record deficit of £27.2 billion in 2012. Trade in services has been in surplus since 2005 growing strongly to record a net surplus of £14.5 billion in 2011, however a decrease in credits of £1.2 billion and an increase in debits of £1.4 billion has seen the surplus with the EU27 decrease slightly to £11.8 billion. Income was relatively subdued in 2006 and 2007, but then rose sharply from a deficit of £0.9 billion in 2007 to a record surplus of £28.0 billion in 2008. As a result, the current account deficit with the EU27 narrowed to £5.2 billion in 2008. However, in 2010 the current account deficit widened to £52.9 billion with the EU27, mainly due to a switch in the income balance from a surplus of £11.7 billion in 2009 to a deficit of £9.3 billion in 2010. The 2011 current account deficit narrowed to £38.0 billion due to a £10.4 billion increase in the income balance. In 2012, the current account deficit with the EU27 has grown to a record £83.2 billion mainly due to income switching from a £1.1 billion surplus to a deficit of £27.2 billion and the trade in goods deficit widening £13.0 billion from 2011 to 2012.

The trade in goods and services deficit with the EU27 increased to £44.4 billion in 2012, largely due to increased deficits with Germany, Italy and Sweden, while the Netherlands switched from a surplus to a deficit. The income balance received from the EU27 grew from £3.5 billion in 1999 to £14.1 billion in 2002, gradually reducing in the following years before switching to a deficit of £0.8 billion in 2006. Income switched back to a surplus in 2008, to record a record high of £28.0 billion. In 2010, the income surplus with the EU27 became an income deficit of £9.3 billion, before returning to an income surplus of £1.1 billion in 2011.  In 2012, the income balance became a record deficit of £27.2 billion. This deficit in 2012 is mainly due to a change from income surplus to income deficit for both the Netherlands and Luxembourg. The deficit on current transfers has remained relatively stable since 1999, typically between £4 billion and £6 billion until 2010 when it rose to £10.2 billion. In 2011 and 2012 the deficit has continued to grow and is a record high of £11.5 billion in 2012, due to a fall in the current transfers’ credits and a rise in current transfers’ debits. The main components of current transfers are payments to, and receipts from, EU institutions. For a complete picture of UK official transactions with institutions of the EU, see table 9.9 (591.5 Kb Excel sheet) .

Figure 9.5: Current account balances with the USA

Figure 9.5: Current account balances with the USA

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The USA is consistently the single largest counterpart country within the UK’s balance of payments, representing 19% of current account credits and 14% of debits in 2012. There has been a current account surplus with the USA in all years for which data are available. Prior to 2001 these were typically below £9 billion, whereas more recent years have seen significantly higher surpluses, peaking in 2007 at £21.3 billion. In 2008, the current account surplus fell back considerably to £10.0 billion, but rose again to £25.8 billion in 2011. In 2012, the current account surplus rose to £28.3 billion. The increased surplus in 2012 was mainly due to a £1.9 billion reduction on the income deficit to £4.7 billion.

The UK has recorded a current account deficit with Japan in every year for which data are available apart from 2009, peaking at £7.1 billion in 2000. In 2009 a surplus of £2.3 billion was recorded mainly due to a large fall in income debits, subsequently the balance returned to a deficit of £2.9 billion in 2010 and an increased deficit of £6.7 billion in 2011. In 2012 there was a slight decrease in the deficit; falling to £6.5 billion. The decrease in the deficit in 2012 was mainly due to a £0.5 billion fall in the trade in goods deficit. Similarly, the UK has always recorded a current account deficit with China, rising to a record £20.7 billion in 2010 before a slight narrowing of the deficit in 2011 to £19.6 billion. The deficit continued to fall in 2012, decreasing to £18.5 billion. This deficit is almost exclusively due to the trade in goods deficit of £21.0 billion, offset slightly by surpluses on trade in services of £1.8 billion and income of £0.9 billion.

Current account by rank

Figure 9.6: Current account: largest five surpluses with individual countries in 2012

Figure 9.6: Current account: largest five surpluses with individual countries in 2012

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When ranking individual countries by the size of the current account balance in 2012, the largest surpluses were recorded with: USA (£28.3 billion), Switzerland (£7.7 billion), Australia (£7.5 billion), Saudi Arabia (£5.4 billion) and Ireland (£4.3 billion).

The surplus with Australia is due to surpluses on trade in goods and services and income.  In contrast, the surpluses with the USA, Saudi Arabia and Ireland are due to a surplus on trade in goods and services. The surplus with Switzerland is due to surpluses in trade in services and income.

Figure 9.7: Current account: largest five deficits with individual countries in 2012

Figure 9.7: Current account: largest five deficits with individual countries in 2012

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When ranking individual countries by the largest current account balance in 2012, deficits were recorded with: Germany (£23.2 billion), Norway (£19.1 billion), China (£18.5 billion), Spain (£12.3 billion) and France (£9.3 billion).

The current account deficit with Germany is due to a deficit on income as well as a deficit on trade in goods. The current account deficits with China and Norway are mainly as a result of deficits on trade in goods. For Spain and France the current account deficits are with trade in goods and services as well as income.

2012 Current account balances with the EU27

2012 Current account balances with the EU27

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2012 Current account balances by region

2012 Current account balances by region

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The reference tables in relation to Chapter 9 are available to download. (591.5 Kb Excel sheet)

Interactive maps

This map shows the UK's current account balance with the rest of the European Union countries, while this map shows the UK's current account balance with regions of the world. The balance includes trade in goods and services, compensation of employees, investment income and current transfers. A positive balance indicates that the UK receives more from that country than it gives back. Click the play button or hover over an area on the map to see how these balances have changed through time.

Chapter 10: Geographical breakdown of the UK international investment position

Summary

The latest available geographical breakdown of the UK’s international investment position (IIP) is for the end of 2011. The geographical breakdown of IIP lags that of the current account, as much of the data is sourced from annual surveys which are not available until 12 months after the reference year.

Direct investment geographical breakdown levels are derived from annual surveys to outward and inward direct investors in the UK. Portfolio investment consists of equity and debt securities holdings, in the form of bonds and notes, and money market instruments. Information on the geographical breakdown of UK holdings of portfolio investment assets are broadly based on the UK contribution to the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Coordinated Portfolio Investment Survey (CPIS).

Geographical breakdowns of UK banks’ deposits abroad and loans made abroad are derived from banking data supplied by the Bank of England. This information is also used to apportion securities dealers’ deposits abroad. Country breakdowns of UK private sector (excluding banks and securities dealers) deposits with banks abroad are derived from the banking statistics of countries in the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) reporting area. Geographical breakdowns of foreign deposits with UK banks are derived from banking data, with foreign loans made to securities dealers apportioned in the same way. Country breakdowns of UK private sector (excluding banks and securities dealers) loans from abroad are derived from the banking statistics of countries in the BIS reporting area.

Geographical international investment position

At the end of 2011 the UK’s net IIP was £10.0 billion, with reported assets totalling £10,882.3 billion and reported liabilities totalling £10,872.3 billion. These are respectively equal to 708% and 707% of GDP (GDP at current market prices, as published in the National Accounts Blue Book 2013). In 2011, the UK retained its net asset position with Australasia & Oceania but continued to have a net liability position with Europe and Africa. The UK also continued to have a net liability with the Americas after switching from a net asset in 2010.

Geographical breakdown of assets

Figure 10.1: 10 largest counterparts to assets of the UK, 2011

Figure 10.1: 10 largest counterparts to assets of the UK, 2011

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Of the assets held by UK residents at the end of 2011, £5,289.6 billion, 49%, were issued in Europe. In total, £4,567.0 billion, 42%, were held in the EU27. France became the most popular European destination for UK investors at £970.5 billion, or 9%; while Germany and the Netherlands accounted for £944.3 billion, 9%, and £665.7 billion, 6%, of UK assets respectively at the end of 2011.

Investments in the Americas amounted to £3,967.9 billion, which represented 36% of UK investment holdings abroad. Most of these investments in the Americas were held in the USA, which at £3,296.4 billion was an increase on the previous year of £537.3 billion. UK residents held 30% of their total investment in the USA, over three times the size for the next largest country, France.

An additional £1,152.6 billion (11%) of UK assets were investments held in Asia. Japan, the UK’s main investment partner in this region, at £530.4 billion, represented 5% of total UK assets. Investments in Australasia & Oceania, Africa, and International Organisations accounted for only £350.8 billion, 3% of total assets.

Geographical breakdown of liabilities

Figure 10.2: 10 largest counterparts to liabilities of the UK, 2011

Figure 10.2: 10 largest counterparts to liabilities of the UK, 2011

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Investments in the UK from Europe amounted to £5,383.8 billion, 50% of total investments. The EU27 accounted for £4,414.2 billion, or 41% of total investment.

Investment in the UK from the Americas was £4,094.3 billion, 38% of total UK liabilities at the end of 2011, while the USA alone accounted for £3,495.9 billion, 32% of total investment into the UK. Investments in the UK from Asia totalled £1,030.8 billion, 9% of UK liabilities. UK liabilities to Australasia & Oceania, Africa, and International Organisations amounted to £363.4 billion, 3% of total investments in the UK.

Geographical breakdown of direct investment

UK direct investment abroad at £1,097.1 billion, contributed 10% to the total stock of UK assets at the end of 2011. Of these investments, 48% were in holdings issued by countries in the EU27 at £531.5 billion and 19% in the USA at £210.4 billion. The country in the EU accounting for the highest level of UK assets was the Netherlands, with total investments in that country amounting to £142.8 billion; this represents 13% of UK direct investment abroad. After growing to £140.5 billion in 2010, holdings within Luxembourg in 2011 decreased slightly to £137.2 billion, which was 13% of the total.

Direct investment in the UK equalled 7% of the total level of UK liabilities in 2011 at £766.2 billion. The EU27 accounted for £365.3 billion, 48% of direct investment into the UK and the USA accounted for a further £203.8 billion, 27%. The country in the EU27 with the most significant direct investment into the UK was the Netherlands, with total investments of £123.2 billion, 16% of direct investment. This was followed by France at £58.9 billion, 8%, and Germany at £49.2 billion or 6% of the worth of UK liabilities.

Geographical breakdown of portfolio investment

UK portfolio investment assets at the end of 2011 stood at £2,075.9 billion, 19% of total UK assets, increasing from £2,070.3 billion at the end of 2010. The geographical breakdown of UK portfolio investment assets is compiled using the UK’s contribution to the IMF’s CPIS survey.

The largest issuer of holdings (in the UK’s 2011 CPIS return to the International Monetary Fund) was the USA, contributing 27% of total investments at £568.9 billion. Long-term debt issues comprised of 63% of portfolio investment held in the USA at £356.8 billion. Insurance and pension funds, banks and mutual funds were the UK sectors investing in the USA (42% of investment was from insurance and pension funds, 30% from banks and 13% from mutual funds). Residents of the EU27 were the issuers of £768.5 billion or 37% of UK portfolio investment holdings at the end of 2011. Issues by France were £136.0 billion or 7%, the largest share of which were held by insurance and pension funds (36%). Issues by Ireland at £119.4 billion, were 6% of the total, the largest share of which were held by insurance and pension funds (43%). The USA was the largest issuer of equity, at £189.9 billion, of which £108.4 billion was held by insurance and pension funds.

The concentration of investment in just six countries – where each reached more than £100 billion (USA, at £568.9 billion, France at £136.0 billion, Ireland at £119.4 billion, the Netherlands at £116.9 billion, Japan at £116.4 billion and Germany at £107.8 billion) – represents 56% of total portfolio investment assets. In 2011, there were 185 countries in which the UK invested less than £1 billion each; the sum of these investments accounted for only £12.7 billion.

Portfolio investment liabilities are derived from the CPIS returns of other countries reporting assets held in the UK and were £2,469.3 billion at the end of 2011. The country holding most portfolio investments in the UK was the USA, at £774.1 billion, or 31% of the total liabilities. Ireland also reported high levels of investment in the UK, at £227.0 billion, 9%.

Geographical breakdown of other investment

The UK’s other investment assets totalled £4,034.7 billion at the end of 2011, 37% of total UK assets. With £1,672.2 billion invested in EU27 countries – 41% of the total other investment assets. Of the EU27 countries France accounted for £380.4 billion, 9% and Germany who accounted for £322.3 billion, 8%. The UK’s assets in the USA amounted to £1,057.4 billion or 26% of total other investment assets. At the end of 2011 a large proportion of UK assets were also held in Japan, at £283.6 billion or 7% of the world total.

Other investment liabilities totalled £4,081.9 billion at the end of 2011, 38% of total UK liabilities. The USA at £1,009.4 billion accounted for 25% of total other investment liabilities. Liabilities to the EU27 accounted for £1,479.0 billion or 36% of the total. Germany at £371.9 billion accounted for 9% of other investment holdings in the UK and France at £240.2 billion for 6%.

Geographical breakdown of financial derivatives

The UK’s financial derivatives assets totalled £3,617.8 billion at the end of 2011, 33% of the total UK assets, increasing from £2,962.8 billion at the end of 2010. Total Europe accounted for £1,750.3 billion or 48% of the total financial derivatives assets, up from £1,416.5 billion at the end of 2010. The EU27 held £1,594.9 billion, 44% of the total, up from £1,273.3 billion from the end of 2010. Germany accounted for £493.3 billion and France for £399.9 billion, 14% and 11% of the world total respectively. The largest destination country for financial derivatives investment was the USA with £1,459.8 billion, 40% of the total, up from £1,144.5 billion at the end of 2010.

Financial derivatives liabilities totalled £3,554.9 billion at the end of 2011, 33% of the UK’s total liabilities, an increase on the £2,895.0 billion at the end of 2010. The USA at £1,508.7 billion, accounted for 42% of these, an increase from £1,183.3 billion at the end of 2010. The EU27 accounted for £1,527.2 billion, 43% of the total and up from £1,209.6 billion at the end of 2010. Germany at £449.9 billion, accounted for 13% of financial derivatives liabilities in the UK, an increase from £400.1 billion, and France at £364.6 billion or 10%, up from £307.2 billion at the end of 2010. Ireland accounted for 4% of financial derivatives at the end of 2011, double the 2% at the end of 2010.

Time series: comparisons

Geographical data prior to 2004 does not include financial derivatives data, so the time series analysis is split where appropriate.

Figure 10.3: Total assets by region

Figure 10.3: Total assets by region

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Since 2002, there was an increase in total UK IIP assets from £3051.9 billion in 2002 to a record of £10,957.4 billion in 2008. In 2009 the asset level fell to £8,528.3 billion, but has risen in 2010 to £9,874.6 billion and to £10,882.3 billion at the end of 2011. Investment in the EU27 increased from £1,399.2 billion in 2002 to £4,567.0 billion in 2011.  Between 2010 and 2011, in some countries a build up of assets was apparent – notably the USA, France, Japan and Ireland. However other countries such as Italy, Belgium and Canada showed a fall in assets over this period. In the five broad geographical regions there was an average increase of 95% of assets held between 2005 and 2011, this ranged from 66% for Africa to 123% for the Americas.

The UK’s assets in the EU27 grew by 78% over the period 2005 to 2011, of the major countries within the EU27, UK assets in France grew by 131%, Germany by 97%, Ireland by 90% and the Netherlands by 71%. Investments in Asia grew by 104% from 2005 to 2011 and UK assets in Japan have grown by 80% over this period, but UK assets in China have grown by 275% and those in India by 244% during the same period. The USA remained the most important country for UK investment, growing from £1,351.9 billion in 2005 to £3,296.4 billion in 2011, a 144% increase.

Figure 10.4: Total liabilities by region

Figure 10.4: Total liabilities by region

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IIP liabilities also increased in each of the years from 2002 to 2008, from £3,158.0 billion to a record £10,881.7 billion. There was a decrease between 2008 and 2009, to £8,713.1 billion. This has recovered over 2010 and 2011 to £10,872.3 billion at the end of 2011. Increases in investments in the UK from the five broad geographical regions, averaged 88% from 2005 to 2011, these increases ranged from 54% for Africa to 132% for Americas over this period. UK liabilities to the EU27 rose by 80% in the period 2005 to 2011. Within the EU27, liabilities to Ireland rose by 106% between 2005 and 2011, while in the same period liabilities rose by 90% for France, 77% for Germany and 34% for the Netherlands.  Investment by the USA in the UK increased from £1,394.3 billion in 2005 to £3,495.9 billion in 2011, a rise of 151%. Within Asia the UK liabilities for China rose by 216% to a record £39.5 billion over the period and for Japan rose by 107%. By contrast the UK liabilities for India showed a drop of 45% over the same period.

Rates of return

Regional rates of return are calculated by dividing income earned and paid on investments by the total value of the investment. Financial derivatives are excluded from this calculation as no investment income accrues from them. Taking the EU27 as an example, the UK earned £76.1 billion from its average investments (excluding financial derivatives) of £2,986.2 billion in 2011, equivalent to an annual rate of return of 2.5%. (The average investment in 2011 is calculated by taking the mean of the end-2010 and end-2011 levels excluding financial derivatives). In 2011, the UK earned a 2.7% rate of return on its total external assets and paid out a 2.4% rate of return on external liabilities. Usually the UK has earned a higher rate of return with its main partners on its external assets than it pays out on its liabilities. However, in 2011 the USA earned a higher rate of 2.6% on its UK liabilities, than it paid on UK assets in the USA of 2.5%. Similarly in 2011, the EU27 countries earned a greater rate of return of 2.6% on their UK liabilities, than the UK earned on its assets in the EU27 countries of 2.5%.

Rates of Return

External assets (per cent) External liabilities (per cent)
  2009 2010 2011   2009 2010 2011
EU27 2.5 1.9 2.5 EU27 2.2 2.2 2.6
Total Europe 2.5 2.1 2.6 Total Europe 2.1 2.2 2.4
USA 2.0 2.3 2.5 USA 2.7 2.4 2.6
Total Asia 3.2 3.4 3.3 Total Asia 1.1 1.6 1.9
Rest of the world 3.2 3.4 3.0 Rest of the world 3.0 1.8 2.3
World Total 2.6 2.4 2.7 World Total 2.2 2.2 2.4

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Notes for Chapter 10: Geographical breakdown of the UK international investment position

  1. Figure 10.1 and 10.2 in Chapter 10 use the following abbreviations for the names of countries.

    Chapter 10 Abbreviation Table

    Abbreviation Country
    USA United States of America
    FRA France
    GER Germany
    NDS Netherlands
    JAP Japan
    IRE Ireland
    SUI Switzerland
    LUX Luxembourg
    SPA Spain
    ITA Italy

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    The reference tables in relation to Chapter 10 are available to download. (161 Kb Excel sheet)

Reference Tables

The reference tables in relation to Part 3 are available to view and print. (354.1 Kb Pdf)

Background notes

  1. Reliability of estimates

    All the value estimates are calculated as accurately as possible; however they cannot always be regarded as being absolutely precise to the last digit shown. Similarly, the index numbers are not necessarily absolutely precise to the last digit shown. Some figures are provisional and may be revised later; this applies particularly to many of the detailed figures for the latest years. For example, calendar year date for the International Trade in Services Survey and Foreign Direct Investment Survey are not available until after Pink Book publication. Therefore, the latest Trade in Services and Direct Investment data published in the Pink Book are provisional estimates and subject to annual benchmarking after publication.

    The latest data when available for the International Trade in Services Survey can be found at: www.ons.gov.uk/ons/search/index.html?newquery=international+trade+in+services+survey

    The latest data when available for the Foreign Direct Investment Survey can be found at: www.ons.gov.uk/ons/search/index.html?pageSize=50&newquery=foreign+direct+investment+survey

  2. Rounding

    As figures have been rounded to the nearest final digit, there may be slight discrepencies between the sums of the constituent items and the totals as shown.

  3. Revisions since ONS Pink Book 2012

    The data in the Pink Book are subject to revisions following the ONS National Accounts Revisions Policy.

    The current account balance is revised from 1997 onwards.

    Trade in goods - The revisions to trade in goods from 1997 onwards reflect revised data from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs and other data suppliers and revised estimates of trading associated with VAT MTIC fraud. The revisions are consistent with the 2013 Blue Book.

    Trade in services - Revisions from 1997 onwards result from a general reassessment of data following the annual supply use balancing process, the incorporation of updated source data from the Bank of England, Chamber of Shipping and Department for Transport. revisions from 2011 additionally reflect the use of final results from ONS's International Trade in Services Survey for 2011.

    Investment income and international investment position - the data are revised from 1997. Revisions from 2003 reflect changes to the methodology for estimating UK residents deposits held overseas together with the changes to the methodology for estimating bond debt liabilities. An article detailing the improvements to the financial account has been published in conjunction with this bulletin.

    Revisions from 2010 reflect the use of annual inquiry results from the ONS direct investment surveys.

    Current transfers - Revisions to current transfers are attributed to revised source data for transfers involving the UK government and the use of the latest data from various ONS surveys.

  4. Symbols

    The following symbols are used throughout:

    ..    = not available

    -     = nil or less than a million

  5. Understanding the data

    A brief introduction to the United Kingdom balance of payments provides an overview of the concepts and coverage of the UK Balance of Payments.

    A glossary of terms used in the UK balance of payments is available on the National Statistics website.

    More detailed methodological notes for the UK balance of payments are also available on the website.

    The following webpage contains articles of interest which relate to UK balance of payments statistics.

  6. References

    The internationally agreed framework for the presentation of the Balance of Payments and the National Accounts are described in the following publications:

    Balance of Payments Manual (5th edition, 1993), International Monetary Fund (ISBN 1-55775-339-3). www.imf.org/external/np/sta/bop/BOPman.pdf

    Balance of Payments Textbook (1996), International Monetary Fund (ISBN 1-55775-570-1). www.imf.org/external/np/sta/bop/BOPtex.pdf

    European System of Accounts (ESA 1995), Office of Official Publications of the European Communities (ISBN 92-827-7954-8). epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/product_details/publication?p_product_code=CA-15-96-001

    System of National Accounts (1993), (ISBN 92-1-161352-2). unstats.un.org/unsd/nationalaccount/docs/1993sna.pdf

  7. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/assessment/code-of-practice/index.html or from the Media Relations Office email: media.relations@ons.gsi.gov.uk

    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.

Get all the tables for this publication in the data section of this publication .
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