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Preview of 2017 revisions to balance of payments and national accounts

Here is information about the revisions to macroeconomic statistics in the balance of payments and national accounts for 2017.

Revisions fall into three broad categories:

  • due to new or updated information becoming available
  • due to new or updated annual benchmarks 
  • due to conceptual or methodology changes.

The revisions will appear in our upcoming economic releases:

  • Balance of Payments and International Investment Position: June 2017 quarter – release date 20 September 2017
  • Balance of Payments and International Investment Position: Year ended 31 March 2017 – release date 27 September 2017
  • Gross Domestic Product: June 2017 quarter – release date 21 September 2017
  • National Accounts (Income and Expenditure): Year ended March 2017 – release date 24 November 2017.

We make revisions annually, in line with international best practice, to ensure the statistics our customers use continue to reflect our changing world.

Revisions to spending by international students in New Zealand

We update estimates for spending by international students annually, based on tuition fee data from the Ministry of Education. As data is only available for the latest December year, we calculate estimates for the subsequent year, and replace them with actual data when it becomes available.

We spread the annual estimate across the four quarters to provide quarterly estimates of spending by international students. As part of the 2017 annual revision process, we revised the annual benchmark for the year ended March 2017 (replacing the estimate with actual data), which caused revisions from the June 2016 quarter to the March 2017 quarter.

The following statistics and data series will be affected by these revisions:

  • exports of education travel services
  • current account balance
  • household consumption expenditure
  • household saving.

Planned revisions that affect travel exports

We are working on several related pieces of work that affect travel exports. These planned revisions include:

  • education export data based on updated ratios of international students’ tuition fees to living costs derived from Education New Zealand’s Economic impact of export education report 2015/16
  • new expenditure data by cruise ship visitors to New Zealand.

We aim to include these updates in the 2018 Balance of Payments revisions cycle. Cruise data will also be included in the next Tourism satellite account release.

Data reclassifications

We have made revisions to data in our sectors series and debt instruments series, to align with existing conceptual frameworks. Data has been reclassified and so at a total level there will be no changes.

These changes affect the following statistics:

  • international investment position
  • financial account. 

Revisions to investment income

Each June quarter, we update investment income estimates derived from Inland Revenue data, to reflect the latest income tax returns. The Inland Revenue data is an undercoverage estimate for the overseas income of individuals, trusts, and small companies not included in surveys. We classify all Inland Revenue data to 'other investment income' as we cannot distinguish between the different types of income that make up this estimate.

Overseas reinsurance claims from the Canterbury earthquakes and the Kaikōura earthquake

We have updated reinsurance claims and settlements based on updated data from insurance companies.

The revision to the Canterbury earthquakes will increase both reinsurance claims and settlements.

The revision to the Kaikōura earthquake will increase claims without impact on settlements.

Other revisions to the national accounts in November and December

Other revisions will be published in national accounts releases on 24 November 2017:

  • National Accounts (Income and Expenditure): Year ended March 2017
  • National Accounts (Industry Production and Investment): Year ended March 2016.

We will publish more information before the 24 November 2017 release, describing how these revisions will flow through to key measures, including current price GDP.

We’ll show how these changes, and other methodological improvements, flow through to Gross domestic product: September 2017 quarter, which will be published on 21 December 2017. This release will also include revisions from our regular incorporation of annual benchmarks.

For more information, contact:

Published 13 September 2017

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