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Balance Of Payments Statistics

Volume 720: debated on Tuesday 16 November 1965

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he is taking to review the presentation of Great Britain's balance of payments statistics.

Ways of improving the balance of payments statistics are continuously under review. In recent years there has been a substantial increase in the amount of information published. The last major change in the general presentation of the accounts was in 1959. Too frequent changes are not desirable, but the advantages and disadvantages of possible alternative presentations are being re-examined.

The hon. Member will have noticed that the quarterly balance of payments figures for 1964 and 1965 published in Economic Trends have included an "analysis of financing" table. Its purpose is to show for recent periods the contribution of the out-turn on current and long-term capital accounts and of movements of short-term capital to the total which had to be financed in recent periods from the reserves and by short-and medium-term official borrowing from overseas.