I am trying to understand the balance of payments. My textbooks say, "the internet" also says, all those YT economics videos say (!): BOP = Current account+Capital account+Financial account = 0.

However, when I look at the Swiss BOP (for 2019 from the Swiss National Bank: https://data.snb.ch/en/topics/aube#!/cube/bopovera)

We have: enter image description here

The only way I can get this to balances is: CA+Cap-FA-Derivatives+Error=0

(subtracting the FA NOT adding it)

However if you perform the calculation: CA+FA+Cap Account+error the BOP does not balance.

So my main question is, is there now some convention in BoP accounting that means that the sign of the financial account (and derivatives) is the other way around? CA+CAP-FA = 0

On a sidenote - Have I interpreted the data correctly?

  1. Switzerland is a net exporter
  2. Switzerland has a positive FA - so financial outflow - Switzerland is investing more in overseas than overseas is investing in Switerland.
  3. Swizterland has a negative cap acc - so an inflow - Wealth is being transferred back to Switzerland from overseas Switzerland has a positive outflow of derivatives,
  4. Swiss have acquired more foreign derivatives than foreigners have acquired Swiss.
  5. The error is positive so something has been over or underestimated (not sure here).

Any help would be much appreciated.


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