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External economy, Economic Statistics
Maria José Alvarez Pelaez
+45 39 17 34 86

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Balance of Payments

The Danish balance of payments statistics are compiled according to the standards outlined in the IMF Balance of Payments Manual.

Comparability - geographical

The balance of payments statistics are compiled according to international standards. Accordingly they are comparable with the statistics of other developed countries.

Comparability over time

Actual balance of payments statements have been prepared since 1934. From 1949 the statements have been adapted to the form used by the IMF with the limitations imposed by the primary statistical material. Up to 1997 there are very long series for the main items without any noticeable breaks. In 1998, the compilation was adapted to the IMF balance of payments manual from 1993 (the fifth manual). Back data to 1988 for the most important items are available. In 2014, the compilation was adapted to the IMF balance of payments manual from 2009 (the sixth manual). Back data to 2005 are available.


  • The treatment of interest payment related to financial derivatives has been adapted according to new international guidelines as from the year 1997. This implies modest changes for investment income, net, but considerable changes for the gross amounts.
  • A major investigation of available sources for the main item services has resulted in a considerable increase of both imports and exports of services as from the year 1999, the current account balance remaining unchanged. This change of level was mainly related to the item other services, which subsequently was published in four sub items. This change of level amounts to around DKK 30 bn. It has been made possible by more detailed information provided by the settlements statistics.
  • As from January 2005 new statistical sources and methods have been applied. Most importantly the settlements statistics of Danmarks Nationalbank have ceased, and new statistics on Foreign trade in services have been established. Breaks in series for all items should be expected. It is, however, submitted that the main balances are compiled without significant breaks.

Coherence - cross domain

Imports in the foreign trade statistics are calculated cif, while they are calculated fob in the balance of payments by deducting transport and insurance charges. But otherwise goods in the balance of payments statistics are delimited slightly differently than in the foreign trade statistics due to different definitions. The transition is regularly updated ( The most important difference is due to transactions with goods non crossing the Danish border (fx. processing and merchanting) The balance of payments is identical to sector Rest of the world in the National Accounts, and it is included in central macroeconomic variables as GDP and GNI. There is full consistency between the Balance of Payments and international trade in services statistics. In the month where the National Accounts is published there is also full consistency between BoP and NA. In the month where the National Accounts is not published, revisions implemented in BoP are not implemented in NA, given the possibility of discrepancies between the two.

Coherence - internal

Complete internal coherence