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Review of changes

Summary of new terms

Various terms have been changed. The table below juxtaposes the old and the new terms.

New term
Old term
Reason for change
Manufacturing services
Processing
The new term describes this category more accurately
Primary income
Labour and investment income
Harmonisation with SNA
Secondary income
Current transfers
Harmonisation with SNA
Reinvestment of earnings (in financial account only)
Reinvested earnings (financial account)
Shows link with other categories in the financial account more clearly
Net lending/net borrowing
Current account and capital transfers
Harmonisation with SNA
Net incurrence of liabilities
Capital inflow (credits in financial account)
Highlights link to changes in international investment position
Net acquisition of financial assets
Capital outflow (debits in financial account)
Highlights link to changes in international investment position
Direct investment, net acquisition of financial assets
Direct investment abroad
BPM6: Transition from directional to asset/liability principle
Direct investment, net incurrence of liabilities
Direct investment in Switzerland
BPM6: Transition from directional to asset/liability principle
Long-term debt securities
Bonds and notes
BPM6
Short-term debt securities
Money market instruments
BPM6
Statistical difference
Residual item
Harmonisation with standard usage in German-speaking countries

Summary of classification changes

Certain categories have been reclassified within the balance of payments. The following table lists the most important changes.

Category
New classification
Old classification
Reason for change
Trade in precious metals as raw materials (gold ingots)
Goods
Other investment
Alignment with international standards
Merchanting
Goods
Services
BPM6
Manufacturing services
Services
Goods
BPM6
Repairs
Services
Goods
BPM6
Postal and courier services
Services / Transport
Services / Postal, courier and telecommunication services
BPM6
Telecommunications services
Services / Telecommunications, computer and information services
Services / Postal, courier and telecommunications services
BPM6
Outcomes of research and development (e.g. patents)
Services / Research and development services
Capital transfers
BPM6
Changes in claims against pension funds
Secondary income  
Primary income
BPM6
Insurance technical reserves
Direct investment (already classified here in Swiss statistics)
Other investment
BPM6
Loans with equity character granted to direct investment enterprises
Direct investment / Intragroup lending
Direct investment / Equity capital
BPM6
Exceptional dividend payments (super-dividends)
Direct investment / Equity capital
Investment income / Direct investment income
BPM6
Contributions to cover losses made to direct investment enterprises
Direct investment / Equity capital
Investment income / Negative direct investment income
BPM6
Structured products
Portfolio investment / Debt securities
Derivative financial instruments
Improvement of data sources

Summary of new sign conventions

In the past, current account expenses and net acquisition of financial assets (capital outflows) have been reported with negative signs in the balance of payments. This rule will no longer apply. The new presentation guidelines are as follows:

Transaction
New
Old
Current account, receipts
+
+
Current account, expenses
+
-
Balance
Receipts – Expenses = +/-
Receipts + Expenses = +/-
Capital transfers receipts
+
+
Capital transfers, expenses
+
-
Net
Receipts – Expenses = +/-
Receipts + Expenses = +/-
Net acquisition of financial assets (capital outflows)
+
-
Net incurrence of liabilities (capital inflows)
+
+
Net
Net acquisition of financial assets – Net incurrence of liabilities = +/–
Capital outflows + Capital inflows = +/-
Calculation of the statistical difference
Financial account, net
– Current account net
– Capital transfers, net
= Statistical difference
(Current account, net + Capital transfers, net + Financial account, net) * (–1) = Residual item