La Balanza de pagos constituye una importante fuente de información sobre el desempeño de los países frente a la economía internacional, al ser un registro sistemático de la actividad económica que ha tenido lugar durante un determinado periodo tiempo entre los agentes de una economía y el resto del mundo.
Por tal razón, es importante paraeconomistas y no economistas, tener nociones sobre la estructura de la misma, qué comprende, las cuentas que la componen, qué se registra y por consiguiente qué implica que estas, en determinado momento, presenten déficit o superávit.
En la primera parte de este documento se presentan los conceptos generales que involucra la balanza de pagos Seguido a esto, se hace un desarrollo de suestructura, que incluye la descripción de las cuentas que la componen. A continuación, se analiza el concepto de superávit o déficit dentro de la balanza. Y, por último, tomando como ejemplo el caso de España, analizaremos la balanza de pagos.
DEFINITION AND STRUCTURE
A balance of payments is an accounting record of all monetary transactions between a country and the rest of the world.Transactions schedule between residents and nonresidents in a specified period of time. Individuals in a country are generally considered residents if they have lived there for at least 12 months. Nonresidents include visitors (tourists, crews of ships or aircraft, and seasonal workers); border workers (who are considered to be residents of the country in which they live); and diplomats andconsular representatives and members of armed forces stationed in a foreign country, who are nonresidents irrespective of the duration of their stay.
It is an important measure of the relative performance of a country in the global economy.
Composition of the balance of payments:
Financial AccountStatistical errors
a) Current Account: represents the net sum of trade in goods and services
Purchase and sell goods (trade balance).
Purchase and selling services (tourism, insurance, royalty…)
Labor income (emigrants’ remittances).
▪ When a trade deficit or surplus is reported, this is usually the account that is beingreferred to. It is an indication of the desirability of a country's products and services by the rest of the world, and therefore, its competitiveness in the world marketplace. The current account is composed of 4 sub-accounts:
1. Merchandise trade consists of all raw materials and manufactured goods bought, sold, or given away. Until mid-1993, this was the figure that was used when the balance oftrade was reported in the media. Since then, the merchandise trade account has been combined with a second sub-account, services, to determine the total for the balance of trade.
2. 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 arerecorded in the service category. Most outsourcing of labour is a debit to the services account.
3. Income receipts include income derived from ownership of assets, such as dividends on holdings of stock and interest on securities.
4. 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 isassigned to the capital account of the donor nation.
The amount of goods and services imported compared to the amount exported is known as the balance of trade. A trade surplus exists when exports exceeds imports over a measured period and a trade deficit exists when imports exceeds exports.
For example, the trade deficit of Spain:
b) Capital Account: