Applying international rules to measure trade in business services

The Banque de France uses the international benchmark methodology for measuring France’s trade in services.

The general framework for measuring trade in services is set out in the 6th Edition of the Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual (BPM6) published by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The BPM6 classifies internationally traded services according to 11 main categories:

  • Manufacturing services on physical inputs owned by others (“Goods for processing”)
  • Maintenance and repair services n.i.e.
  • Transport
  • Construction
  • Insurance and pension services
  • Financial services
  • Charges for the use of intellectual property n.i.e.
  • Telecommunications, computer and information services
  • Other business services:
    • Research and development
    • Professional and management consulting services
    • Technical, trade-related and other business services
  • Personal, cultural and recreational services
  • NB: General government goods and services n.i.e.

Services transactions are recorded in the national accounts at the time they are effectively provided.

The principles set out in the BPM6 are supplemented by specific methodologies applicable to trade in services.

The principles set by the BPM6 have been completed by the Manual on Statistics of International Trade in Services (MSITS), published jointly by seven international institutions: United Nations, Eurostat, IMF, OECD, UNCTAD, UNWTO (World Tourism Organisation) and WTO (World Trade Organisation). The MSITS provides a further breakdown of the classification of transactions by type of services through the Extended Balance of Payments Services (EBOPS) Classification. It also further extends the meaning of trade in services to cover services delivered through locally established enterprises. It notably responds to information needs related to the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS).


Updated on: 04/09/2020 16:06