The Monetary Authority of Macao (AMCM) releases today the preliminary balance of payments (BOP) of Macao SAR for the reference year 2011. The BOP is a statistical statement that summarises external transactions of an economy with the rest of the world. In 2011, Macao recorded an overall BOP surplus of MOP81.6 billion. Among the major components, the current account registered a surplus of MOP136.0 billion. The capital account had a net outflow of MOP1.1 billion and financial non-reserve assets showed a net decrease of MOP9.9 billion. Merchandise imports, valued at f.o.b., surged by 36.0% in 2011, reflecting buoyant local consumption and increased visitor spending. Meanwhile, merchandise exports grew by 6.3% after four consecutive years of contraction. With the notable rise in imports and a relatively mild increase in exports, the merchandise trade deficit went up from MOP44.1 billion in 2010 to MOP62.5 billion in 2011. On the other hand, strong exports of travel services drove the surplus in the services account up from MOP169.7 billion to MOP235.8 billion. The income account, which reflects cross-border flows of factor income, recorded a net outflow of MOP33.0 billion in 2011, considerably higher than the net outflow of MOP23.0 billion recorded in the previous year. This stemmed mainly from the increase in income earned by foreign direct investors in Macao. Current transfers, which include mainly inflows and outflows of workers' remittances as well as donations received/made by local social service organisations with respect to the rest of the world, recorded a net outflow of MOP4.3 billion, representing a decrease of MOP1.6 billion from 2010. With the large invisible trade surplus offsetting the deficit in merchandise trade as well as net outflows of factor income and current transfers, the current account surplus reached MOP136.0 billion, up markedly by MOP39.4 billion from the revised surplus of MOP96.7 billion in 2010. Flows in the capital account reversed from a net inflow of MOP0.2 billion in 2010 to a net outflow of MOP1.1 billion in 2011. Net financial non-reserve assets registered a net inflow of MOP9.9 billion, compared to a net outflow of MOP10.0 billion in 2010. Of which, net inflows of direct investment decreased from MOP30.4 billion in 2010 to MOP16.5 billion in 2011 while portfolio investment recorded a net outflow of MOP15.1 billion, up from MOP6.7 billion in 2010. Concurrently, other investment shifted to a net inflow of MOP8.9 billion in 2011 from a net outflow of MOP33.7 billion in 2010. Net outflow of financial derivatives amounted to MOP350.7 million, up from MOP64.7 million recorded in the previous year. Reserve assets in the BOP records the net change in foreign currency assets (excluding the SAR Reserve Fund) held by the Monetary Authority of Macao. In 2011, reserve assets, after price, exchange rate and other adjustments, went up by MOP81.6 billion, as compared to an increase of MOP41.3 billion in 2010. Macao's BOP statistics are compiled in accordance with the International Monetary Fund's Balance of Payments Manual, Fifth Edition. The current release incorporates preliminary estimates of key statistics, and a detailed report with revised data will be published in December 2012.