The treatment of non financial services in the recent System of National Accounts (SNA) and Balance Of Payments (BOP) updates, in view of the emerging new concept of services
The two new manuals of the National Accounts (SNA 2009) and of the Balance of Payments (IMF 2009) are implementing many new features that protract innovations firstly introduced in 1993. Among those, the paper focuses on the treatment of non financial services. The first section of the paper explains the main evolutions that the SNA sets off. Since several observers might keep in mind the old view on ser-vices (immateriality), a view that was no more endorsed by the 1993 revi-sion, primarily the paper briefly reminds the basic changes that were brought in 1993. In the second section, the paper focuses on the services versus goods is-sue and the related problems left aside, or brought in, by the revisions. The paper advocates that the contrast between goods and services, not only better holds, but becomes increasingly definite. It will be the occasion to show that the new perception borrows quite a lot from Hill’s perspective (1999a). The third section of the paper is dedicated to a discussion contrasting the treatment of services in the SNA (SNA 2009) and in the BOP (IMF 2008). The aim of this comparison is to assess to what extent the two approaches have been rendered more compatible as it was intended.
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