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1 International Finance Chapter 1 National Income Accounting and the Balance of Payments

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  • *International Finance

    Chapter 1 National Income Accounting and the Balance of Payments

  • *Chapter OutlineNational income accountsGNP vs. GDPCurrent account National saving, investment, and the current accountBalance of payments accounts

  • *National Income AccountsNational income is often defined to be the income earned by a nations factors of production.Gross national product (GNP) is the value of all final goods and services produced by a nations factors of production in a given time period.GNP = GDP + net income to factors of productionExpenditure approach gives GNP = C + I + G + EX - IMCurrent Account Balance (CA) = EX - IM

  • *Figure 1: U.S. GNP and Its ComponentsSource: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis

  • *Current Account BalanceCA = EX IM = Y ( C + I + G)CA>0Exports > ImportsTotal income > total spendingNet foreign wealth is increasing

    CA

  • *Figure 2: U.S. Current Account and Net Foreign Wealth, 19762009Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis

  • *Current Account DeficitA country borrows from another to finance its spending.CA deficit adds to a countrys debt.A debtor is not necessarily a bad thing. It depends on how a nation spends its borrowed money: on current consumption or on productive investment. If it is the latter, then the nations future production would increase and more than offset its debt. As a result, the nation will enjoy an enhanced ability to consume more goods and services in the future.

  • *National saving, investment, and the current accountPrivate saving (Sp) = Y C T Public saving (Sg) = T G National saving (S) = Sp + Sg = Y C G So, S = I + CA; CA = S I If S > I, the excess saving will be invested in foreign assets (capital outflow);If S < I, the excess investment will have to be financed by foreign borrowing (capital inflow).CA = net foreign investment = net foreign wealth

  • *Twin DeficitsCA = Sp I (G T)If Sp and I remain constant, a high government deficit (G T) generates a high current account deficit.In reality, Sp and I probably wont remain constant.

  • *Balance of PaymentsBOP is a report of one countrys transactions with other countries.Double-entry bookkeeping: a transaction enters the accounts twice: a credit (+) and a debit (-)A Payment received is reported as a credit;A payment made is reported as a debit.Components of BOPCurrent account: flows of goods, services, income, unilateral transfers;Capital account: non-market, non-produced, or intangible assets;Financial account: financial assets, official reserve assets,statistical discrepancy.

  • *Examples of BOP Double-Entry BKYou invest in the Japanese stock market by buying $500 in Sony stock.Sony deposits the money in its Los Angeles bank account. The bank credits the account by the amount of the deposit.

    Purchase of stock (financial account)$500Credit (sale) of deposit in account by bank (financial account)+$500

  • *Examples (Cont.)GM exports $2 million worth of automobiles to China.Chinas importer pays for the automobiles by writing a check with its Citi Bank account.

    Automobile sales(current account)+$2,000,000

    Deduction of Chinese importers US$ account at Citi Bank (financial account) -$2,000,000

  • *Examples (Cont.)U.S. banks forgive a $100 M debt owed by the government of Argentina through debt restructuring.U.S. banks who hold the debt thereby reduce the debt by crediting Argentina's bank accounts.

    Debt forgiveness: non-market transfer (capital account) $100 MCredit (sale) of account by bank (financial account) +$100 M

  • *Examples (Cont.)A private charity in the U.S. ships $50,000 worth of goods as aid following an hurricane that devastated the southeast region of Taiwan.

  • *The Balance of BOP Due to double-entry book keeping, the BOP will balance as Current account + Financial account + Capital account = 0

  • *Table 1: U.S. Balance of Payments Accounts for 2009 (billions of dollars)

  • *Official Reserve AssetsOfficial (foreign) reserve assets: foreign assets held by central banks to cushion against financial instability.Assets include government bonds, currency, gold and accounts at the International Monetary Fund.Official reserve assets owned by (sold to) foreign central banks are a credit (+) because the domestic central bank can spend more money to cushion against instability.Official reserve assets owned by (purchased by) the domestic central bank are a debit (-) because the domestic central bank can spend less money to cushion against instability.

  • *Official Reserve AssetsThe negative value of the official reserve assets is called the official settlements balance or balance of payments.It is the sum of the current account, the capital account, the non-reserve portion of the financial account, and the statistical discrepancy.A negative official settlements balance may indicate that a country is depleting its official foreign reserve assets or may be incurring large debts to foreign central banks so that the domestic central bank can spend a lot to protect against financial instability.

  • *U.S. Balance of PaymentsThe U.S. has the most negative net foreign wealth in the world, and so is therefore the worlds largest debtor nation.And its current account deficit in 2009 was $378 billion dollars, so that net foreign wealth continued to decrease.The value of foreign assets held by the U.S. has grown since 1980, but liabilities of the U.S. (debt held by foreigners) has grown faster.

  • *Figure 3: U.S. Gross Foreign Assets and Liabilities, 1976 - 2009Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis, June 2010

  • *U.S. Balance of Payments (cont.)About 70% of foreign assets held by the U.S. are denominated in foreign currencies and almost all of U.S. liabilities (debt) are denominated in dollars.Changes in the exchange rate influence value of net foreign wealth (gross foreign assets minus gross foreign liabilities).Appreciation of the value of foreign currencies makes foreign assets held by the U.S. more valuable, but does not change the dollar value of dollar-denominated debt for the U.S.

  • SummaryA countrys GNP is roughly equal to the income received by its factors of production.In an open economy, GNP equals the sum of consumption, investment, government purchases, and the current account.GDP is equal to GNP minus net income from foreign countries for factors of production. It measures the value of output produced within a countrys borders.

  • Summary (Cont.)National saving minus domestic investment equals the current account ( exports minus imports).The current account equals the countrys net foreign investment (net outflows of financial assets).The balance of payments accounts records flows of goods & services and flows of financial assets across countries.It has 3 parts: current account, capital account, and financial account, which balance each other.Transactions of goods and services appear in the current account; transactions of financial assets appear in the financial account.

  • Summary (Cont.)Official international reserve assets are a component of the financial account, which records official assets held by central banks.The official settlements balance is the negative value of official international reserve assets, and it shows a central banks holdings of foreign assets relative to foreign central banks holdings of domestic assets.The U.S. is the largest debtor nation, and its foreign debt continues to grow because its current account continues to be negative.

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