April 2004

Chapter 3. National demand and activity

Indicators 3.5 and 3.6, relating to the MCYT (Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology) Monthly Business Survey ( ECI), include methodological changes so as to adapt them to European Commission (Eurostat) rules and guidelines. To assess the repercussions of these changes, readers can consult the methodological notes at the following site: .

Chapter 7. Balance of Payments, foreign trade and International Investment Position

The International Investment Position (IIP) data for December 2003, the information on which is to be disseminated on 31 March 2004, include for the first time the results of a new reporting system on Portfolio Investment, available as from December 2002.

Banco de España Circular 2/2001 established a reporting system for stocks and transactions with marketable securities. This new system, whose main characteristic is that it gathers information broken down security by security and provided by resident depository institutions and resident investors who transact their operations directly through non-resident financial intermediaries, has allowed one of the main limitations of the IIP to be resolved, namely: the lack of information on the portfolio investment assets and liabilities stocks of the non- credit private sector (Other Resident Sectors in Balance of Payments and IIP terminology). This lack of information made it necessary to calculate the related IIP stocks by means of Balance of Payments accumulation of flows, to which an adjustment was added to reflect exchange rate changes, but no correction (except in limited instances) was made for changes in securities prices. Accordingly, the IIP portfolio investment data did not in many cases reflect the value of the instruments on each of the dates to which this statistic refers, and a compilation method enabling this had to be used.

Although the incorporation of the results obtained with the new reporting system has, to a greater or lesser extent, affected all the IIP Portfolio Investment components, their influence is greater in the stocks of the "Shares and mutual funds" caption of Other Resident Sectors. In this caption the inclusion of the new data introduces a bigger break in the time series, whence its revision as from 1992.

Finally, while the differences in these results compared with the previously published results have been checked, it should be understood that the new portfolio investment data may be subject to subsequent revision since what is only a recently implemented system is involved.