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Since then, the merchandise trade account has been combined with a second sub-account, services, to determine the total for the balance of trade. Services include tourism, transportation, engineering and business services, such as law, management consulting and accounting. Fees from patents and copyrights on new technology, software, books and movies also are recorded in the service category.


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Income receipts include income derived from ownership of assets, such as dividends on holdings of stock and interest on securities. Unilateral transfers represent one-way transfers of assets, such as worker remittances from abroad and direct foreign aid. In the case of aid or gifts, a debit is assigned to the capital account of the donor nation.

Is Germany’s current account surplus bad for the world economy? – CEPS

In addition, capital transfers include the transfer of title to fixed assets and the transfer of funds linked to the sale or acquisition of fixed assets, gift and inheritance taxes, death duties, uninsured damage to fixed assets and legacies. Acquisition and disposal of non-produced, non-financial assets represent the sales and purchases of non-produced assets, such as the rights to natural resources, and the sales and purchases of intangible assets, such as patents, copyrights, trademarks, franchises and leases. Financial Account The financial account is made up of two sub-accounts: U.

These assets include gold, foreign currencies, foreign securities, reserve position in the International Monetary Fund, U.

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Foreign-owned assets in the United States are divided into foreign official assets and other foreign assets in the United States. These assets include U.


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Deficit and Surplus In theory, the current account should balance with the capital plus the financial accounts. The sum of the balance of payments statements should be zero. For example, when the United States buys more goods and services than it sells a current account deficit , it must finance the difference by borrowing, or by selling more capital assets than it buys a capital account surplus. A country with a persistent current account deficit is, therefore, effectively exchanging capital assets for goods and services.

Large trade deficits mean that the country is borrowing from abroad.

Is Germany’s current account surplus bad for the world economy?

In the balance of payments, this appears as an inflow of foreign capital. In reality, the accounts do not exactly offset each other, because of statistical discrepancies, accounting conventions and exchange rate movements that change the recorded value of transactions. May The world has more urgent problems than a group of under-spending Northern European nations. The views expressed are attributable only to the authors and not to any institution with which they are associated. Home About us About us.

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UK Balance of Payments, The Pink Book: 2016

More about this Topic Banking and other Financial services. About the Author. Author Jacques Pelkmans.

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