Foreign trade statistics are measured according to the criteria set in the Balance of Payments Manual by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), version 6. Exports correspond to sales or shipments of Chilean products abroad, while imports correspond to purchases or introduction of products from other economies. The former are foreign currency inflows (credit), while the latter are foreign currency outflows (debits) to the Balance of Payments’ asset account.
The moment transactions are recorded is defined by the change of ownership and valuation is carried out at market prices. The balance of the goods account, or trade balance, is defined as exports minus total imports. A positive result (surplus) implies net income for the economy, while a negative balance (deficit) is associated with indebtedness towards the rest of the world. If the net balance is zero, the economy is said to have balanced trade.


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