The balance of payments draws its data from various sources, of which external sector reporting is the core component. As a general rule, all domestic banks, enterprises, households and public authorities are required to report their external transactions to the Bundesbank. The legal basis is provided by Section 11(2) of the Foreign Trade and Payments Act (Außenwirtschaftsgesetz) and, building on this, Sections 67 et seq. of the Foreign Trade and Payments Regulation (Außenwirtschaftsverordnung).
Other data sources include:
- foreign trade statistics from the Federal Statistics Office;
- household surveys on travel expenses abroad;
- external position of domestic banks;
- stock reports on external claims and liabilities of non-banks;
- stock reports on cross-border equity investments;
- the Deutsche Bundesbank’s internal accounting;
- other national and international statistics for reconciliation and as a basis for estimates.