Differences between Balance of Payments and Foreign Trade Statistics

Balance of Payments (BOP) and Foreign Trade Statistics (FTS) provide data for the external trade in goods of a given country; the two data sets generally do not show the same figures. The two data sources have very different detail and serve other users’ needs. Different methodologies are the main reason for the differences between the two data sets. This paper provides a summary of the main methodological differences between the two data sets and describes all the adjustments that have to be made by BOP compilers to go from FTS to BOP data. A recent survey of the main adjustment practices in EU member states and candidate countries is also provided.