Among the main developments:
- The current account deficit of the major industrial countries was largely eliminated by end-1981: in contrast, the UK surplus nearly halved. The developing countries' deficit widened further in 1981; and their recourse to bank borrowing increased.
- For 1982 as a whole the oil exporters' current account is likely to be approximately in balance. Various high-absorbing countries are already in large deficit.
- The underlying rate of growth of international bank lending probably accelerated in the fourth quarter. With their current account positions weakening, oil exporting countries were again net borrowers. However, the growth of lending in 1981 as a whole was slower than in the two previous years, and figures for newly announced credits in the first four months of 1982 indicate a slackening in the pace of new borrowing which, together with more expensive terms, perhaps reflects bankers' greater awareness of risk.