An inventory of United Kingdom external assets and liabilities end-1978

Quarterly Bulletin 1979 Q2
Published on 01 June 1979

This article continues the annual series of estimates of the United Kingdom's external assets and liabilities. The provisional figures show that, in sterling terms, the net external liability fell slightly in 1978.

The compilation and presentation of the estimates, which are set out in detail in Table E, follow the pattern of previous articles. As before, the inevitable limitations of an inventory of this nature must be emphasised: there are gaps in the data-for example, no estimates exist either for UK-owned property abroad or for foreign-owned property in this country; and difficulties in valuing investments and problems of identification entail considerable margins of error; indeed, some of the estimates are no more than broad orders of magnitude. Furthermore, some of the estimates are particularly liable to revision: for example, those for direct investment were substantially revised when the results of the Department of Trade's last census (for end-1974) became available and the estimates for more recent years will almost certainly be similarly revised when the results of the latest census (for end-1978) are to hand.

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