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Balance of Payments and International Investment Position: March 2016 quarter
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  15 June 2016
Data quality

Period-specific information
This section contains data information that has changed since the last release.

General information
This section contains information about data that does not change between releases.

Period-specific information

Reference period

Information for this release was collected from January to March 2016.

Revisions

See revisions for details of the changes we made in the March 2016 quarter.

Overseas reinsurance claims from the Canterbury earthquakes

Total international reinsurance claims from all Canterbury earthquakes are estimated at $20.2 billion, unchanged from the December 2015 quarter. We will revise this claim estimate in the June 2016 quarter.

At 31 March 2016, a total of $18.5 billion of these claims had been settled with overseas reinsurers, leaving $1.7 billion of claims outstanding. These outstanding insurance claims are included as assets in New Zealand's international investment position. See the table below for details.

Updated reinsurance claim estimates
Quarter Reinsurance
claims
Settlements Total outstanding claims at end of period
NZ$(million)
Sep 2010 6,070 0 6,070
Dec 2010 0 0 6,070
Mar 2011 13,194 59 19,206
Jun 2011 872 483 19,595
Sep 2011 0 892 18,703
Dec 2011 51  1,193 17,562
Mar 2012 0 1,361 16,201
Jun 2012 0 1,399 14,802
Sep 2012 0 1,362 13,440
Dec 2012 0 1,514 11,926
Mar 2013 0 1,010 10,916
Jun 2013 0 1,373 9,542
Sep 2013 0 1,343 8,200
Dec 2013 0 1,051 7,148
Mar 2014 0 1,184 5,964
Jun 2014 0 544 5,420
Sep 2014  564 4,856
Dec 2014

0

 505 4,351
Mar 2015 0 575

 3,776

Jun 2015  0 460 3,316
Sep 2015 0

273

3,043
Dec 2015 0 361 2,682
 Mar 2016 0 998 

1,684

 Total  20,188

18,504

1,684

We will continue to revise these settlements estimates as the insurance industry provides us with updated information.

General information

Data sources

The source data and information for BoP and IIP statistics collected and processed each quarter are summarised below and include:

  • Statistics NZ surveys of New Zealand-resident enterprises
  • surveys conducted by other entities
  • administrative data
  • financial market information.

The main surveys that provide data for BoP and IIP are:

  • Quarterly International Investment Survey  – a sample survey that is the main source of data on primary income, financial account flows, and the stock of overseas assets and liabilities.
  • International Trade in Services and Royalties Survey  – a quarterly sample survey that is the primary source for commercial services data
  • transportation surveys – full-coverage surveys that measure transactions relating to transportation services such as passenger airfares and port expenses.

Surveys conducted by other organisations – we use data from other organisations that operate surveys that are relevant to our data needs. For example:

  • International Visitors Survey – run by a marketing company for MBIE. The data is used to estimate exports of travel services in the current account.
  • Quarterly Managed Funds Survey  – a Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) survey that provides data on overseas income, financial account transactions, and IIP, for the pension, money market, and non-money market sectors.  

Administrative data – examples of these include non-resident withholding tax data from Inland Revenue, and New Zealand Customs Service records of imports and exports published in the overseas merchandise trade (OMT) statistics.

Financial market information – includes interest and, exchange rates and share prices for major investment partner countries. The information is used for survey validation purposes. We take much of this information from publicly available websites. 

Conceptual adjustments to exports and imports of goods

In BoP, we record exports and imports of goods when the ownership changes between the resident and the non-resident party. Adjustments are made to the OMT statistics (source data for the BoP goods item), to account for ownership changes. The following conceptual adjustments are made.

  • Goods that cross the customs frontier without a change in ownership are removed from merchandise trade imports and exports data – an example of this is large capital items imported or exported on an operational lease.
  • Goods on consignment are removed from trade data, as ownership does not change for these goods when they leave a country.
  • Freight and insurance charges are removed from the value of imports of goods and are reclassified to services.
  • Changes in the level of oil stocks held abroad get added to or subtracted from imports of goods.  

Goods on consignment are goods intended for sale but not actually sold at the time they cross the border of the exporting country. To meet the BoP recording convention, we remove the value of goods exported on consignment from the OMT exports in the quarter they leave the country, and add them back into exports in the quarter in which the goods are actually sold.

Seasonal adjustment and trend analysis

Quarterly current account statistics are subject to large, short-term movements, both irregular and seasonal, which makes interpreting trends in the original series difficult.

In the current account, we produce seasonally adjusted and trend series for both goods and services (including travel and transportation services separately). Primary and secondary income series only have a trend calculated for them as they do not have a seasonal pattern.

The seasonally adjusted current account is the sum of adjusted goods and services, and the actual primary and secondary income series. We calculate the seasonally adjusted balances as being the sum of adjusted exports minus adjusted imports.

Undercoverage estimate for the international investment position

BoP uses a purposive sampling method to capture international investment position (IIP) data for the other sectors of the economy. Under this method, all units identified as being significant are surveyed each quarter.

A non-sample estimate is added to the results of the quarterly survey to represent the IIP position for the entire population.

Net errors and omissions (residual)

We compile the BoP statement using the double-entry bookkeeping system to ensure the account balances. In practice, the BoP statement does not always balance. To balance the account, a balancing item called the 'net errors and omissions' or 'residual' is used. The residual is always entered on the credit side of the account.

We can calculate the residual by one of two means:

  1. the sum of all current, capital, and financial account credits (inflows), less the sum of all the debits (outflows)
  2. the current account balance, plus the net flow of the capital and financial accounts.

A positive entry means the sum of the debits is greater than the sum of the credits.

Persistent large residuals in one direction may indicate serious and systemic errors. However, a small figure does not necessarily mean that only small errors and omissions have occurred, since large positive and negative errors may be offsetting. Timing differences in data reported by the different sources we use to estimate the credit and debit sides of a transaction may result in positive and negative errors and omissions offsetting each other.

In any quarter there may be financial account transactions occurring but not recorded in the accounts. The reasons for them may include: transactions undertaken by entities not in the frame for BoP surveys, omissions of data by existing survey respondents, and errors in data reporting and compilation.

Confidentiality and accessing the data

Where data within a table in this release discloses information about an individual respondent, or would allow close estimation of such information, we publish data only after obtaining the consent of those respondents (ie published under section 37(4)(a) of the Statistics Act 1975). Where affected respondents have not provided their consent, data remains confidential.

More information

Principles and protocols for producers of Tier 1 statistics
Statistics in this release are produced in accordance with the Official Statistics System principles and protocols for producers of Tier 1 statistics for quality. They conform to the Statistics NZ Methodological Standard for Reporting of Data Quality.

Liability

While all care and diligence has been used in processing, analysing, and extracting data and information in this publication, we give no warranty it is error-free and will not be liable for any loss or damage suffered by the use directly, or indirectly, of the information in this publication.

Timing

Our information releases are delivered electronically by third parties. Delivery may be delayed by circumstances outside our control. Statistics NZ does not accept responsibility for any such delay.   

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