The scale of cross-border economic and financial transactions has been steadily growing since the 1990s. How can we keep track of these movements, these flows, in all directions, without getting our heads in a spin?

For a very long time, countries have agreed on very basic principles for mapping these transactions. This is what we call the “balance of payments”. Using examples close to citizens, this film illustrates these principles. Step by step, it sheds light on the way a country fits into the globalised world.

Source: Banque de France

Objective: Better understanding the balance of payments, identifying its main components, and better framing the challenges of globalisation. In particular: the distinction between residents and non-residents, the current account (exports and imports of goods, services and income), the financial account (foreign direct income, lending and borrowing, etc.), and the basics of surplus and deficit.

Public: 12 and over

Length: 5’24’’

Click on the link to consult the Balance of payments section of the Banque de France’s website.

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Published on 26 June 2015. Updated on 12 September 2019