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Points on International Comparison of the Flow of Funds Accounts

December 28, 2000
Bank of Japan

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The Flow of Funds Accounts (hereafter FFA) is a financial statistics that show in a comprehensive way the movements of funds among economic entities and the claim/debt relationships between them. Hence, comparison of the FFA among countries makes it possible to capture the characteristics of financial activities of each country from various perspectives.

In recent years, major countries have been revising FFA in accordance with 93SNA(ESA95 for European countries) and endeavoring to make the international comparison of FFA easier. In July 1999, the Bank of Japan conducted a major revision of Japan's FFA for the first time in these 40 years in line with 93SNA.

The main purpose of this paper is not to analyze each country's FFA but to explain various points on international comparison of the FFA. In the following, using charts made on a new basis, we will compare the FFA of the G5 countries (Japan, the U.S., UK, Germany, and France), and summarize major differences in the statistical definitions used by these countries. 1

  1. Here, sectors and transaction items of the G5 countries are rearranged for international comparison. For details, see " Appendix. List of Sectors of Transaction Items."