Difference Between Balance of Payment and Balance of Trade

Due to the implementation of the globalisation policy, the world has shrunk to a little hamlet, and each country now freely trades with the rest of the world. Two statements are generated in this context to keep track of the country’s foreign exchanges: The Balance of Payments (BoP) and the Balance of Trade (BoT).

Balance of Payment vs Balance of Trade 

The main difference between Balance of Payment and Balance of Trade is that the balance of payment records transactions in commodities, services, and assets between the inhabitants of a nation and the rest of the globe. On the other hand, the balance of trade is the balance of exports and imports of goods and services.

Balance of Payment vs Balance of Trade

As the name suggests, the balance of payments is a record of all transactions between firms in one nation and those in other countries during a certain period of time, such as a quarter or even according to the other way of looking at it, the balance-of-payments (BoP) is a collection of accounts that tracks all a country’s commercial interactions with the rest.

As the name implies, the trade balance is the difference between the value of a country’s imports and exports over a given time The balance of trade (BoT) is the most significant component of a country’s Associative power is calculated by economists using the BoT. Alternatively, the international trade balance is called the balance of trade (BoT).

Comparison Table Between Balance of Payment and Balance of Trade 

Parameters of Comparison Balance of Payment Balance of Trade 
DefineA balance of payments is the sum of a trade balance, a service balance, a unilateral transfer balance, and a capital account consistency.The net balance of commodities exported and imported in a specific period is referred to as the balance of trade.
Component ofCurrent Account and Capital AccountCurrent Account of Balance of Payment
PurposeTo assist in making if everything’s been correctly accountedTo help a country in determining the net profit or loss resulting from the export and import of commodities
Net EffectAlways ZeroPositive, Negative or Zero
Capital TransfersIncludedNot Included
ResultReceipts and Payment sides are talliedBalanced or Unbalanced

What is the Balance of Payment?

The Balance of Payments is a collection of accounts that records all of a country’s business dealings with the rest of the world during a specific period. It keeps track of all of the country’s worldwide financial transactions on goods, services, and revenue throughout the year. Financial Transactions are recorded up to date.

It aggregates all public-private investments to determine the amount of money flowing into and out of the economy in the long term. If the BOP is zero, it signifies that both the debits are equal; however, if the debit exceeds the credit, it indicates a deficit; nevertheless, if the credit surpasses the debit, it indicates a surplus.

The following groups of accounts make up the Balance of Payments:
Current account: It is used to keep track of both tangible and intangible assets. Goods are physical objects, whereas services and income are intangible.

Capital account: It maintains track of all capital expenditures and revenue earned by the public and private sectors together. Capital Account includes foreign direct investment, external commercial borrowing, and government loans to foreign governments, among other things.

Errors and Omissions: If the invoices and payments do not tally, the balance will be displayed as errors and omissions.

What is the Balance of Trade?

Purchasing and selling products are referred to as trade while buying and selling goods worldwide is referred to as import and export. The Balance of Trade is the balance between a country’s imports and exports of commodities during a given year. It is the most important component of the country’s current account in the Balance of Payments. It simply maintains track of tangible objects.

The Balance of Trade shows the variations in a country’s imports and exports of products to the rest of the world over time. It’s called Trade Equilibrium if the country’s imports and exports are at a similar level. However, if imports exceed exports, the scenario is unfavourable since it indicates that the country’s economic situation is poor, and the scenario is known as Trade Deficit. A trade surplus occurs when exports surpass imports, which shows the country’s solid economic position.

Even if a trade surplus or deficit is not necessarily a reliable forecast of an economy’s development, other economic indicators such as the business cycle should be taken into account. In a recession, for example, governments like to export more to generate employment and demand. Countries seek to import more during periods of the economic boom to encourage price competition and control inflation.

Main Differences Between Balance of Payment and Balance of Trade 

  1. The Balance of Trade is a report that records the country’s imports and exports of products to and from other nations over some time. The Balance of Payments records all of the country’s international monetary transactions over some time.
  2. Only physical things are tracked in the Balance of Trade, but both physical and non-physical objects are tracked in the Balance of Payment.
  3. Capital transfers and payments are recorded in the Balance of Payments, but not in the Balance of Trade.
  4. The Balance of Trade can reflect a surplus, deficit, or equilibrium. The Balance of Payments, on either hand, is always in balance.
  5. The Balance of Trade is only partially accurate when it comes to a country’s economic situation. Balance of Payments, on the other hand, includes the analysis of a country’s economic situation.


If you wish to comprehend foreign exchange, you must first grasp the balance of trade and the balance of payments.
The calculation is considerably more complicated since it requires a great deal of information to determine the exports and imports of products and services, as well as how much money is given to foreigners and received from foreigners, and so on.
However, understanding the balance of trade and balance of payments, as well as how to calculate them, can help you comprehend foreign exchange policies very well. Analysis and comparisons of how much trade has risen or reduced since the prior period may also be done with the aid of BOT and BOP.


  1. https://www.wallstreetmojo.com/balance-of-trade-vs-balance-of-payments/
  2. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/bot.asp
  3. https://keydifferences.com/difference-between-balance-of-trade-and-balance-of-payment.html
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