<br />Indicator: Imports of goods and services, volume, annual growth rates in percentage
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In this dataset, almost all OECD countries compile their data according to 2008 System of National Account (SNA).

The link to the file "ANA_changes.xls" is available for users to provide more information on where OECD countries and non member countries stand regarding the change over the 2008 SNA.

The readers' guide gives general information on the dataset and withheld criteria for this dataset.

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In today's increasingly globalised world, exports and imports are key aggregates in the analysis of a country's economic situation. Whenever the world economy slows down or accelerates, the national economy is potentially affected.

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Definition

Exports of goods and services consist of sales of goods and services (included in the production boundary of GDP) from residents to non-residents. These also include transactions in barter or goods exported as part of gifts or grants. Equally, imports reflect the same transactions from non-residents to residents. The 2008 SNA has introduced two main changes (goods for processing and merchanting) affecting the recording of international trade. These changes may have a significant impact on the resulting national accounts aggregates but from a purely conceptual point of view they do not affect GDP (nor the trade balance). These changes are in line with Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual Sixth Edition (BPM6). See annex B for a description of these changes.

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A unit is said to be resident in a country when its "centre of economic interest" is situated in that country's economic territory. A country's economic territory is the geographic area corresponding to the nation state. It includes its air space, its territorial waters, its territorial enclaves in the rest of the world (embassies in foreign countries) and free zones. Conversely, it excludes foreign embassies located in the country.

Not all goods need to physically enter a country's border to be recorded as an export or import. Transportation equipment, goods produced by residents in international waters sold directly to non-residents, and food consumed in ships or planes, or goods sold under merchanting arrangements are but a few examples of transactions which may be recorded as exports or imports without physically crossing borders.

Equally, not all goods that cross a country's border are necessarily imports or exports. Transportation equipment, goods sent abroad for processing that do not change ownership  are examples of goods that cross borders but are not recorded as imports or exports. A number of indicators can be derived from exports and imports of goods and services: for example, the degree of openness (export + imports)/GDP or the terms of trade. The terms of trade are defined as the ratio between the index of export prices and the index of import prices (See also B5NVIXOB, Real net national income).

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Comparability

Goods (merchandise trade) reflect the bulk of import and exports, and these are generally well covered and afford good comparability across countries; although discrepancies between total imports and exports of traded goods at the global level reveal that measurement in practice is not trivial. Growth in trade through the Internet has increased measurement difficulties.

The comparability of trade in services is more affected by practical measurement issues however; even if the conceptual approach, as it is for goods, is the same for all OECD countries. Exports and imports of services used to mainly consist of travel, transport services (sea, air) and insurance. But increases in outsourcing, merchanting, goods sent abroad for processing services (see also Annex B for changes implied by the 2008 SNA) and transactions in intellectual property, such as R&D, software and artistic originals, have increased the difficulties inherent in the measurement of trade in services. Some payments, for example in software and R&D are incorrectly recorded as property income say and not in services.

It should be noted that even though both Canada and the United States have implemented the 2008 SNA, they have not yet implemented the new recording of merchanting or goods sent abroad for processing services. Also, no consolidation of flows between Member States is done in aggregating to EU levels. This means in particular that the level of exports and imports for the Euro area includes flows within the Euro area. The external balance however is not affected, because the non-consolidated flows in exports and imports cancel each other out in the balance.

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<br />Indicator: Imports of goods and services, volume, annual growth rates in percentageContact person/organisation

In this dataset, almost all OECD countries compile their data according to 2008 System of National Account (SNA).

The link to the file "ANA_changes.xls" is available for users to provide more information on where OECD countries and non member countries stand regarding the change over the 2008 SNA.

The readers' guide gives general information on the dataset and withheld criteria for this dataset.

Readers'guidehttp://stats.oecd.org/wbos/fileview2.aspx?IDFile=0f8a2aaf-ede2-450f-bcd7-5c64c251a50d ANA_changes.xlshttp://stats.oecd.org/wbos/fileview2.aspx?IDFile=a93cfcc9-df92-4d84-be64-58fd6d788737 Other data characteristics

In today's increasingly globalised world, exports and imports are key aggregates in the analysis of a country's economic situation. Whenever the world economy slows down or accelerates, the national economy is potentially affected.

Key statistical concept

Definition

Exports of goods and services consist of sales of goods and services (included in the production boundary of GDP) from residents to non-residents. These also include transactions in barter or goods exported as part of gifts or grants. Equally, imports reflect the same transactions from non-residents to residents. The 2008 SNA has introduced two main changes (goods for processing and merchanting) affecting the recording of international trade. These changes may have a significant impact on the resulting national accounts aggregates but from a purely conceptual point of view they do not affect GDP (nor the trade balance). These changes are in line with Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual Sixth Edition (BPM6). See annex B for a description of these changes.

Other manipulations

A unit is said to be resident in a country when its "centre of economic interest" is situated in that country's economic territory. A country's economic territory is the geographic area corresponding to the nation state. It includes its air space, its territorial waters, its territorial enclaves in the rest of the world (embassies in foreign countries) and free zones. Conversely, it excludes foreign embassies located in the country.

Not all goods need to physically enter a country's border to be recorded as an export or import. Transportation equipment, goods produced by residents in international waters sold directly to non-residents, and food consumed in ships or planes, or goods sold under merchanting arrangements are but a few examples of transactions which may be recorded as exports or imports without physically crossing borders.

Equally, not all goods that cross a country's border are necessarily imports or exports. Transportation equipment, goods sent abroad for processing that do not change ownership  are examples of goods that cross borders but are not recorded as imports or exports. A number of indicators can be derived from exports and imports of goods and services: for example, the degree of openness (export + imports)/GDP or the terms of trade. The terms of trade are defined as the ratio between the index of export prices and the index of import prices (See also B5NVIXOB, Real net national income).

Recommended uses and limitations

Comparability

Goods (merchandise trade) reflect the bulk of import and exports, and these are generally well covered and afford good comparability across countries; although discrepancies between total imports and exports of traded goods at the global level reveal that measurement in practice is not trivial. Growth in trade through the Internet has increased measurement difficulties.

The comparability of trade in services is more affected by practical measurement issues however; even if the conceptual approach, as it is for goods, is the same for all OECD countries. Exports and imports of services used to mainly consist of travel, transport services (sea, air) and insurance. But increases in outsourcing, merchanting, goods sent abroad for processing services (see also Annex B for changes implied by the 2008 SNA) and transactions in intellectual property, such as R&D, software and artistic originals, have increased the difficulties inherent in the measurement of trade in services. Some payments, for example in software and R&D are incorrectly recorded as property income say and not in services.

It should be noted that even though both Canada and the United States have implemented the 2008 SNA, they have not yet implemented the new recording of merchanting or goods sent abroad for processing services. Also, no consolidation of flows between Member States is done in aggregating to EU levels. This means in particular that the level of exports and imports for the Euro area includes flows within the Euro area. The external balance however is not affected, because the non-consolidated flows in exports and imports cancel each other out in the balance.

<Body /><Link><Title>2008 SNAhttp://stats.oecd.org/wbos/fileview2.aspx?IDFile=62f21fca-6a46-4460-b2d7-00d40d59f18dBibliographyhttp://stats.oecd.org/wbos/fileview2.aspx?IDFile=13c0f8d7-28cf-463b-a443-6d11290b4756