An inventory of UK external assets and liabilities end-1968

Quarterly Bulletin 1969 Q4
Published on 01 December 1969

This is a further article in the series listing the United Kingdom's external assets and liabilities. There are broadly speaking two ways of depicting the United Kingdom's overseas financial position: first, as in the balance of payments accounts, by measuring transactions between U.K. and overseas residents during a period of time; and secondly, as in this article, by drawing up an inventory of all U.K. external assets and liabilities showing the value outstanding at various dates. For most purposes the first method is more useful. It helps to show the reasons for changes in the United Kingdom's monetary position over short periods and is particularly relevant when considering the effect of overseas transactions on the domestic economy. The second method, however, is not without its uses, in spite of the several statistical limitations mentioned below. An account of the various types of asset and liability presents a broad picture of the United Kingdom's overseas position at a particular point of time. This broad picture does not normally change greatly from year to year; nevertheless, changes over a longer period often reveal significant features not apparent in the balance of payments presentation, which makes no allowance for valuation changes in assets and liabilities.

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