Hong Kong - Current Account Balance





Hong Kong: Current Account Balance

Mnemonic TAB.IHKG
Unit Mil.HKD, NSA
Adjustments Not Seasonally Adjusted
Quarterly 7.59 %
Data 2019 Q2 37,770
2019 Q1 35,107

Series Information

Source Census and Statistics Department Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSARG)
Release Balance of Payments
Frequency Quarterly
Start Date 3/31/1999
End Date 6/30/2019

Hong Kong: Trade

Reference Last Previous Units Frequency
Balance of Goods Oct 2019 -30,590 -31,639 Mil. HKD, NSA Monthly
Exports of Goods Oct 2019 348,528 347,685 Mil. HKD, NSA Monthly
Imports of Goods Oct 2019 379,118 379,325 Mil. HKD, NSA Monthly
Exports of Goods and Services 2019 Q3 1,306,429 1,228,498 Mil. HKD, NSA Quarterly
Imports of Goods and Services 2019 Q3 1,267,922 1,249,453 Mil. HKD, NSA Quarterly
Net Exports 2019 Q3 38,507 -20,955 Mil. HKD, NSA Quarterly
Real Exports of Goods and Services 2019 Q3 1,264,650 1,185,452 Mil. Ch. 2017 HKD, NSA Quarterly
Real Imports of Goods and Services 2019 Q3 1,227,012 1,204,477 Mil. Ch. 2017 HKD, NSA Quarterly
Real Net Exports 2019 Q3 37,638 -19,025 Mil. Ch. 2017 HKD, NSA Quarterly
Current Account Balance 2019 Q2 37,770 35,107 Mil.HKD, NSA Quarterly

Release Information

A Balance of Payments (BoP) account is a statistical statement that systematically summarises, for a specific time period, the economic transactions of an economy with the rest of the world.

The BoP accounts of Hong Kong are compiled in accordance with international standards and practices as stipulated in the Fifth Edition of the Balance of Payments Manual (BPM5) published by the IMF. A complete BoP account comprises the following two broad accounts: (a) current account; and (b) capital and financial account.

The Balance of Payments (BoP) account, International Investment Position (IIP) and External Debt (ED) statistics are compiled and disseminated in accordance with the requirments stipulated in the Special Data Dissemination Standard of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). While quarterly BoP account is compiled as from the reference period of the first quarter of 1999, annual BoP account can be dated back to the reference period of 1998. Furthermore, annual IIP statistics are compiled as from the reference period of 2000, whereas quarterly ED statistics are compiled as from the reference period of the first quarter of 2002. BoP data are useful for analysis of the external transactions of an economy. This is of particular importance for Hong Kong as a major international financial centre and a highly externally oriented economy.

The concept of "resident" is crucial to the compilation of BoP statistics. Practically, residents of an economy include individuals and organisations. According to international statistical standards, for individuals, residents refer to those who normally stay in the economic territory of the economy, irrespective of their nationality. For organisations, residents refer to those which ordinarily operate in the economic territory. The economic territory of an economy consists of the geographic territory administered by the government within which persons, goods and capital circulate freely. Conceptually, the residence status of individuals and organisations depends on their centre of economic interest.

Data on transactions and assets and liabilities vis-a-vis the mainland of China are treated as external transactions and external positions respectively. Examples of external transactions are trade in goods, trade in services and external factor income flows. Examples of external positions are stocks of inward and outward direct investments by major countries/territories.

Balance of Payments Account

A Balance of Payments (BoP) account is a statistical statement that systematically summarises, for a specific time period, the economic transactions of an economy with the rest of the world.

The BoP accounts of Hong Kong are compiled in accordance with international standards and practices as stipulated in the Fifth Edition of the Balance of Payments Manual (BPM5) published by the IMF. A complete BoP account comprises the following two broad accounts: (a) current account; and (b) capital and financial account.

Current Account 

Current account largely measures flow of real resources including exports and imports of goods and services, income receivable and payable abroad, and current transfers from and to abroad. Current account transactions are recorded on a gross basis, reflecting the provision and acquisition of real resources by an economy to and from other economies.

Goods comprise all movable goods that change ownership from residents to non-residents (exports) and from non-residents to residents (imports). Goods cover general merchandise, goods for processing, goods procured in ports by carriers, repairs on goods, and non-monetary gold.

Services include services rendered by residents to non-residents (exports) and by non-residents to residents (imports). Service transactions are classified by type of services, namely transportation, travel, insurance services, financial services and other services.

Income consists of earnings by residents from non-residents (income receivable) and by non-residents from residents (income payable) for the provision of factors of production. Income is mainly classified into compensation of employees and investment income which includes direct investment income, portfolio investment income and other investment income.

Current transfers are transactions in which residents of an economy provide/receive real and financial resources that are likely to be consumed immediately or shortly, to/from non-residents without the receipt/provision of equivalent economic values in return. Current transfers are unilateral in nature and they are offsetting entries in the BoP account for one-sided transactions. They include workers' remittances, donations, official assistance and pensions, etc.

Capital and Financial Account

Capital account measures external transactions in capital transfers, and in acquisition or disposal of non-produced, non-financial assets.

Capital transfers are transfers of ownership of a fixed asset or the forgiveness of a liability without receiving any economic value in return. Cash transfers that are linked to, or conditional on, the acquisition or disposal of a fixed asset are also capital transfers. Capital transfers consist mainly of debt forgiveness and migrants' transfers. Migrants' transfers are contra-entries to flows of goods and changes in financial items that arise from the migration of individuals between two economies.

Acquisition or disposal of non-produced, non-financial assets comprises transactions associated with tangible assets that are not actually produced and transactions associated with non-produced intangible assets. Non-produced, non-financial assets include land and subsoil assets, patents, copyrights and franchises, etc.

Financial account records transactions in financial assets and liabilities between residents and non-residents. It shows how an economy's external transactions are financed. Transactions in the financial account are classified into direct investment, portfolio investment, financial derivatives, other investment and reserve assets.


(a) Direct Investment

Direct investment refers to external investment which allows an investor of an economy to have a lasting interest and a significant degree of influence or effective voice in the management of an enterprise located in another economy. For statistical purpose, an effective voice is taken as equivalent to a holding of 10% or more of the equity in an enterprise.

Direct investment comprises equity capital, reinvested earnings and other capital. Equity capital means equity in branches, stock and shares in subsidiaries and associates. Reinvested earnings consist of the investors' share of earnings of their subsidiaries or associates not distributed as dividends. Other capital mainly involves inter-company debt transactions. These include short-term or long-term borrowing and lending of funds between parent companies and their subsidiaries, associates and branches.   

(b) Portfolio Investment

Portfolio investment refers to investment in non-resident equity and debt securities (e.g. bonds and notes, money market instruments). Compared with direct investors, portfolio investors in equity and debt securities of non-resident enterprises have no lasting interest or influence in the management of the companies they invest. A holding of less than 10% equity in an enterprise is regarded as portfolio investment.   

(c) Financial Derivatives

Financial derivatives are financial instruments that are linked to a specific financial instrument or indicator or commodity, and through which specific financial risks can be traded in financial markets (including on exchanges and over-the-counter) in their own right. Financial derivatives include option-type contracts (e.g. warrant and option) and forward-type contracts (e.g. future, interest rate swap, currency swap, forward rate agreement, forward foreign exchange contract).   

(d) Other Investment

Other investment refers to other financial claims on and liabilities to non-residents that are not classified as direct investment, portfolio investment, financial derivatives or reserve assets. Other investment includes non-marketable loans, currency and deposits, trade credits and financial leases.  

(e) Reserve Assets

Reserve assets consist of foreign currency assets that are readily available to and controlled by the monetary authority of an economy (in the case of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority) for directly financing payment imbalances and for indirectly regulating the magnitude of such imbalances through intervention in foreign exchange markets to affect the currency exchange rate of that economy.


Net changes in capital and financial non-reserve assets refers to transactions in capital transfers and transactions in external investments other than reserve assets, viz. transactions in direct investment, portfolio investment, financial derivatives and other investment. Net change in financial non-reserve assets refers to transactions in external investments other than reserve assets.

For a reference period, if an economy receives more foreign currencies than it pays in external transactions in goods, services, income and assets, as well as in external transfers and remittances, then it is said to have a BoP surplus, which is equal to its overall net inflow of funds from the rest of the world. Conversely, there will be a BoP deficit which is equal to its net outflow of funds.

International Investment Position Statistics

An economy's International Investment Position (IIP) is a balance sheet of the stock of its external financial assets and liabilities at a particular point in time. In IIP, assets pertain to possessions, in the form of prescribed investment instruments, having commercial or exchange value that are owned by residents with claims on non-residents, whereas liabilities refer to those which are owed by residents with obligations to non-residents.

IIP statistics of Hong Kong are compiled in accordance with international standards and practices as stipulated in the Fifth Edition of the Balance of Payments Manual (BPM5) published by the IMF.

Fully consistent with the BoP financial account, IIP is categorised by type of investment. Assets and liabilities are divided into direct investment, portfolio investment, financial derivatives, other investment. The asset side of IIP also includes the reserve assets. The difference between assets and liabilities represents the net international investment position.

While BoP financial account measures transactions in external financial assets and liabilities during a period, IIP statement reflects the level of such assets and liabilities at the end of the period. The former is a flow concept, whilst the latter is a stock concept.

Transactions in assets and liabilities, among other factors, will affect the stock of these assets and liabilities. In addition to transactions, price changes and exchange rate variations as well as other adjustment also have an impact on the value of stock of an economy's external financial assets and liabilities when expressed in the currency of the host economy.

Price and exchange rate variations affect the valuation of components such as equity and debt securities. Price variations reflect the holding gains or losses of such securities during the reference period. In estimating the price variations of equity and debt securities, data on individual share prices for equity securities listed on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong and market indices for those listed in overseas stock and debt markets are used. As regards exchange rate variations, estimations are based on exchange rates of relevant currencies.

In accordance with international statistical standards, other adjustments include reclassifications and unilateral cancellation of debt by a creditor etc.

Revisions of past quarters occur as new data are released in future quarters, the revisions are captured in the database.