The overseas earnings of UK financial institutions

Quarterly Bulletin 1968 q4
Published on 01 December 1968

A growing recognition of the importance to the United Kingdom of the overseas earnings of its service industries has stimulated attempts to measure their contribution. In the balance of payments accounts exports and imports of services - commonly referred to as 'invisibles' - are by international convention classified according to the nature of the transaction rather than the industry or type of institution which carries it out; thus it is not generally possible to identify the contribution made by an individual industry to the surplus that the United Kingdom habitually earns on its invisible transactions. Nor is it possible to measure the extent to which service industries facilitate the import and export of goods. Nevertheless it is worth trying to make industrial classifications of transactions on invisibles account, not only to illustrate the contribution that a particular industry may be making - and thereby perhaps to spur its efforts - but also to facilitate economic analysis as a basis of policy.

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