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IMF - International Monetary Fund

2. Economic statis= tics (IMF)

2.1 Macroeconomic statistics

Principal Global Indicators= Website

The IMF is coordinating international efforts to improve the availabilit= y of macroeconomic data essential for tracking financial and economic devel= opment. In late 2008, the Statistics Department of the IMF created the Inte= r-Agency Group on Economic and Financial Statistics - involving the Bank fo= r International Settlements (BIS), the European Central Bank (ECB), Eurosta= t, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the U= nited Nations (UN), and the World Bank (WB)- to address economic and financ= ial data gaps needed to monitor financial developments. One of the key outc= omes of the Inter-Agency Group was the launching of Principal Global Indica= tors Website (PGI website) in April 2009. The PGI website brings together t= imely data available at participating international agencies covering finan= cial, governmental, external, and real sector data, with links to data at w= ebsites of international and national agencies. The website is available at= h= ttp://


In December 2009 the website was revamped to allow presentation of its r= ich collection of data in a more user-friendly fashion by shifting emphasis= to cross-country indicators---currently over forty indicators. Among the n= ew additions include:
=E2=80=A2 Additional cross-country tables of ke= y indicators with more data transformation in harmonized units of measureme= nt to facilitate comparative analysis;
=E2=80=A2 Longer runs of histo= rical data via real-time access to the underlying PGI database;
=E2= =80=A2 On-line access to referential metadata which provide information on = the data sources, economic concepts, or national practices used in compilin= g the data; and
=E2=80=A2 Visual display of key cross-country indicat= ors.


Whilst the PGI website currently focuses on the dissemination of data fo= r the G-20 economies, the intention is to expand it gradually to cover more= countries.


Reports on Observance of St= andards and Codes (ROSCs)


The IMF also conducts two - to three-week on-site missions to its member= countries to assess the quality of data and assist in their further develo= pment. The ROSC data module provides an assessment of data quality in five = areas of macroeconomic statistics - national accounts (NA), prices (consume= r and producer price indices), government finance, monetary, and balance of= payments (BOP)- based on the July 2003 Data Quality Assessment Framework (= DQAF), as well as an assessment of whether the data dissemination practices= are in accordance with those specified in the Special Data Dissemination S= tandard (SDDS).


The assessments are disseminated as data modules of the Reports on Obser= vance of Standards and Codes. As of December 2009, 121 data module ROSCs ha= d been completed, including updates and reassessments. These include - usin= g the IMF's World Economic Outlook country group classification - 23 from a= dvanced economies, 27 from Africa, 10 from developing Asia, 22 from Central= and Eastern Europe, 15 from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), = 4 from the Middle East, and 20 from Western Hemisphere countries (including= one regional central bank). Links to the published modules can be found on= the IMF website at (go to DQRS).

2.2 Economic accounts

Real Sector=

=E2=80=A2 The IMF collaborates with Eurostat to source its real sector d= ata for EU and EU accession countries on Eurostat's database.


National Accounts<= /span>


=E2=80=A2 The IMF is permanent member of the Inter-Secretariat Working G= roup on National Accounts (ISWGNA) - chairing agency during 2006 and 2007. = The IMF contributed to production of the System of National Accounts 2008 (= 2008 SNA), drawing on its expertise in real sector financial, balance of pa= yments and government finance statistics.
=E2=80=A2 The IMF conducts = training courses on the 2008 SNA and on quarterly national accounts
= =E2=80=A2 The IMF provides technical assistance in national accounts to mem= ber countries through a variety of venues, including staff missions to indi= vidual countries. It is also involved, as member of the ISWGNA, in the impl= ementation strategy of the 2008 SNA.
=E2=80=A2 The IMF collects and d= isseminates national accounts data on member countries through its monthly = International Financial Statistics (IFS), the International Financial Stati= stics Yearbook (IFSY) and the Dissemination Standards Bulletin Board (DSBB)= , as well as providing hyperlinks to selected individual country data syste= ms. The IFS currently contains financial and economic statistics for 180 me= mber countries and for the Central African Economic and Monetary Community,= the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU), the Euro Area, Hong Kong SAR,= Macao SAR, the West African Economic and Monetary Union, the West Bank and= Gaza, and four nonmembers (Anguilla, Aruba, Montserrat, and the Netherland= s Antilles). Databases related to the IFS are available to subscribers on C= D-ROM. The monthly edition of IFS is available to subscribers on the Intern= et and the complete searchable IFS database has become available since Janu= ary 2002.

2.4.6 Banking, insurance, fina= ncial statistics

Monetary and Financial Stat= istics and Financial Soundness Indicators (FSIs)

=E2=80=A2 The IMF provides technical assistance in monetary and financia= l statistics to member countries through a variety of venues, including sta= ff missions to individual countries. Each year, the IMF organizes courses o= n monetary and financial statistics at regional training centers.
=E2= =80=A2 The IMF collects monetary and financial statistics on member countri= es and disseminates most important data in the International Financial Stat= istics (IFS) and the Data Standard Bulletin Board (DSBB), as well as provid= ing hyperlinks to selected individual country data systems. The monthly edi= tion of IFS is available to subscribers on the Internet and the complete se= archable IFS database has become available since January 2002. As well, the= data are available on CD-ROM.
=E2=80=A2 The quarterly IFS Supplement= on Monetary and Financial Statistics, which was introduced in September 20= 06 to disseminate monetary and financial statistics for countries that repo= rt data using the standardized report forms (SRFs) in accordance with the M= FSM was discontinued in 2009 and its output consolidated within the main IF= S publication. SRFs provide a substantial portion of the information needed= for the IMF's balance sheet analysis. Full migration to SRF-based reportin= g is expected to be completed by mid-2012.
=E2=80=A2 The IMF's Compil= ation Guide on Financial Soundness Indicators (FSIs), which covers not only= the financial soundness of banks but also other institutional sectors, was= published as an official IMF document in 2006. To support and coordinate e= fforts by national authorities to compile cross-country comparable FSIs, th= e IMF conducted a coordinated compilation exercise (CCE) for FSIs with 62 c= ountries participating on a voluntary basis. The first public release of re= gular reported data and metadata took place in July 2009. Efforts are now c= oncentrated on updating the reported data, disseminating historical data, a= nd increasing the number of reporting countries.
=E2=80=A2 Training c= ourses on FSIs are offered through the IMF-sponsored regional training cent= ers.
=E2=80=A2 The IMF collaborates with the ECB to source monetary a= nd financial statistics for EU and pre-in countries through a "gateway= " arrangement that minimizes reporting burdens on countries.
=E2= =80=A2 In July 2007, the Working Group on Securities Databases (WGSD), orig= inally established in 1999, was reconvened in response to various internati= onal initiatives and recommendations to improve information on securities m= arkets such as those from the Committee on the Global Financial System and = Finance Ministers of the G-8. The WGSD is chaired by the IMF and includes t= he Bank for International Settlements, the European Central Bank, and the W= orld Bank as members. Selected experts from national central banks, who hav= e participated actively in various international groups that have identifie= d the need to improve data on securities markets, were also invited to cont= ribute to the deliberations of the WGSD. The WGSD agreed to produce a Handb= ook on Securities Statistics, which is the first publication of its kind to= focus exclusively on securities statistics. Part 1 of the Handbook, which = focuses on debt securities issues, was published in May 2009 on the IMF web= site. Work is now underway in the production of Part 2 of the Handbook, dea= ling with securities statistics holdings, with the aim to publish it in May= 2010.

2.5 Government finan= ce, fiscal and public sector statistics

Government Finance Statisti= cs (GFS)

=E2=80=A2 Work on preparing companion materials for Government Finance S= tatistics Manual 2001 (GFSM 2001) is continuing. Given the need to provide = guidance to compilers and analysts on specific conceptual issues, staff are= developing generic methodological guidance notes in the form of a "Fr= equently Asked Questions" facility, which will be accessible from an e= lectronic database.
=E2=80=A2 A Fact Sheet explaining how GFS are com= piled from administrative and accounting records, that highlights basic fea= tures of internationally comparable GFS and lists associated services provi= ded by the IMF to its member countries, was developed in 2009. A paper was = prepared for an in-depth review of GFS conducted by the 2009-2010 Bureau of= the CES, discussed at their October 2009 meeting in Washington, D.C. Staff= commenced work during the last quarter of 2009 on the preparation of a rev= ised GFSM 2001, that incorporates the changes introduced in the 2008 SNA. =E2=80=A2 The IMF provides technical assistance in GFS to member count= ries through a variety of channels, including staff or expert missions to i= ndividual countries. Each year, the IMF organizes GFS courses at headquarte= rs and at regional centers. In recent years, hands-on short workshops are a= lso being undertaken.
=E2=80=A2 Implementation of the GFSM 2001 is pr= ogressing steadily. The IMF collects fiscal data on member countries and di= sseminates these in its GFS Yearbook, quarterly CD-ROMs that cover data for= 145 countries from 1990 onward, and other publications. For the 2009 GFS Y= earbook, which contains annual data, about 90% of the countries reported da= ta in the GFSM 2001 framework. For all countries, the data reported before = 2003 were converted by the IMF from the GFSM 1986 to the GFSM 2001 framewor= k.
=E2=80=A2 The GFSY database will soon be available on the IMF's we= bsite and will continue to be available in two CD-ROM products: (1) the Gov= ernment Finance Statistics Database and Browser on CD-ROM (1990-present in = GFSM 2001 format), released on a quarterly basis and providing various anal= ytical presentations of the annual time series for all reported subsectors = of general government; and (2) A Manual on Government Finance Statistics, 1= 986 (GFSM 1986) Historical Database and Browser on CD-ROM (1972 89), contai= ning time series of annual GFS data compiled prior to 1990, using the analy= tical framework of the GFSM 1986. The print publication of the GFSY was dis= continued effective in 2009, as summary monthly, quarterly, and annual stat= istics in GFSM 2001 format are now published in the IFS.
=E2=80=A2 A = project was initiated in late 2005 to start collecting monthly and quarterl= y data according to the GFSM 2001 framework as well. High-frequency data ac= cording to the GFSM 2001 were published in the IFS starting in August 2007 = (replacing the monthly and/or quarterly fiscal data that followed the 1986 = guidelines). By January 2010, the IFS included subannual fiscal data for 88= countries, of which 71 countries are using the GFSM 2001 framework to repo= rt their data. Particular attention is being given to the availability and = timeliness of fiscal data for G-20 countries.
=E2=80=A2 Under the aeg= is of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Finance Statistics (TFFS)1 that is cha= ired by the IMF is drafting a guide for compiling public sector debt statis= tics. The completed draft will be presented at the next meeting in March 20= 10.
=E2=80=A2 Close cooperation with IPSASB continues, and has led to= a better understanding of the relation between GFS and international publi= c accounting standards. An IPSASB meeting in May 2009 was hosted by the IMF= .

2.6 International trade and bal= ance of payments

International Trade

=E2=80=A2 The IMF participates in the development and promulgation of st= andards and methodology for trade statistics compilation such as the UN's I= nternational Merchandise Trade Statistics. The IMF has actively participate= d to the Intersecretariat Task Force on Merchandise Trade Statistics, chair= ed by the World Trade Organization (WTO). The Task Force's initiatives incl= ude developing international handbooks on concepts and compilation methods = for merchandise trade statistics and to reconcile merchandise trade data co= llected by the IMF, the United Nations, and the WTO.
=E2=80=A2 The IM= F collects and maintains the monthly Direction of Trade Statistics database= and disseminates associated monthly electronic and quarterly/annual hardco= py publications Direction of Trade Statistics, both quarterly and annual. O= nline version of the DOTS was released in January 2007 (available at The Direction of Trade Statistics Yearbook (DOTSY) database provides= annual bilateral trade data on the value of imports and exports of goods f= or 182 countries and major regional groups. Exports and imports are based u= pon both country data and estimation procedures designed to reduce gaps in = reported values. The DOTS quarterly database is widely used within the IMF = for trade policy analysis. This quarterly publication presents data for 158= countries and major regional areas. It is supplemented by a monthly CD-ROM= and online database.


Trade in Services<= /span>


=E2=80=A2 The IMF participates in the Inter-Agency Task Force on Statist= ics of International Trade in Services (ITFSITS). The ITFSITS has revised t= he Manual on Statistics of International Trade in Services (MSITS) in accor= dance with revisions to the 2008 SNA and BPM6. The 2010 MSITS is scheduled = to be approved by the United Nations Statistical Commission at its meeting = in February 2010. The IMF promotes the development and improvement of data = on international trade in services as an integral part of its activities re= lated to the implementation of the IMF's Balance of Payments Manual. These = efforts also include i) activities undertaken in this area by the IMF Commi= ttee on Balance of Payments Statistics; and ii) organization of and partici= pation in in-country and regional seminars on statistics of international t= rade in services, in collaboration with Inter-Agency Task Force partners.=20



=E2=80=A2 The IMF has recently improved methodological and compilation g= uidance for data on remittances, both through improvements in concepts (as = shown in the BPM6) and through its work, in collaboration with the World Ba= nk and a select group of compilers from around the world (Luxembourg Group)= , in preparing a compilation guide for remittances (International Transacti= ons in Remittances: Guide for Compilers and Users). A first draft of the gu= ide was circulated within the group before its meeting in Brasilia in June = 2007, a complete draft (considered near-final) was posted on the IMF's webs= ite for public comments in September 2008, and the final draft became avail= able in hard copy form in mid-2009. Work is underway in 2009 and 2010 to tr= anslate the guide into additional languages.


Balance of Payments


=E2=80=A2 The update of the Balance of Payments and International Invest= ment Position Manual (BPM6) has been carried out in synchronization with th= e 2008 SNA under the auspices of the IMF Committee on Balance of Payments S= tatistics (BOPCOM). Work proceeded as scheduled on the preparation of the B= PM6, with a draft posted on the IMF website in March 2008. A revised versio= n that takes into account written comments received and input from the semi= nars was approved at the meeting of the BOPCOM in November 2008. The final = version, subject to editing was released at end-2008, and a hard copy editi= on in English (including all changes and containing an index) became availa= ble at end-2009. Work is underway in 2010 to translate BPM6 into additional= languages.
=E2=80=A2 Within the context of the BPM6 preparation, the= Committee made decisions on several of the recommendations of four technic= al expert groups: Direct Investment Technical Expert Group; Balance of Paym= ents Technical Expert Group; Currency Union Technical Expert Group; and Res= erve Assets Technical Expert Group.
=E2=80=A2 The IMF's Balance of Pa= yments and International Investment Position Statistics website (see: provides information= on current work on external sector statistical research and development. =E2=80=A2 The IMF provides technical assistance in balance of payments= to member countries through a variety of venues, including staff missions = to individual countries.
=E2=80=A2 The IMF collects and disseminates = balance of payments and international investment position data on member co= untries through its Balance of Payments Yearbook and IFS publications and t= he DSBB, as well as providing hyperlinks to selected individual country dat= a systems. BOPSY database contains data on balance of payments statistics f= or 194 jurisdictions and on International Investment Position (IIP) statist= ics for 118 jurisdictions, virtually all reported in the format recommended= in the fifth edition of the Balance of Payments Manual (BPM5). Further, th= ese annual and quarterly data are published monthly via CD-ROM and the onli= ne database. Databases available to subscribers on CD-ROM relate to the Bal= ance of Payments Statistics Yearbook Online versions of the BOPSY were rele= ased in January 2007 (available at and are also available
=E2=80=A2 The Coordinated Portfolio Investment Survey (CPIS) is undertake= n on an annual basis since 2001. Results are available on the IMF's website= (see: along wi= th the metadata. The results of the 2008 CPIS were posted on the IMF's exte= rnal website at in= December 2009. Seventy-four economies participated in the 2008 CPIS, one m= ore than in 2007.
=E2=80=A2 A database on International Reserves and = Foreign Currency Liquidity is available to the public on the IMF's website = at The total n= umber of reporters redisseminating the data template on international reser= ves and foreign currency liquidity (data template) on the IMF's website has= now reached 64. Plans are under way to disseminate on the IMF website the = template data of the remaining SDDS subscribers and those of GDDS countries= that prepare the data.
=E2=80=A2 The IMF has been collecting quarter= ly data on the currency composition of official foreign exchange reserves (= COFER) since the 1960s from individual countries on a strict confidentialit= y basis, with dissemination limited to selected aggregates only. The databa= se distinguishes official reserves denominated in U.S. dollars, euros, poun= ds sterling, Japanese yen, Swiss francs, and other currencies. In response = to heightened policy and public interest, the IMF launched the quarterly pu= blication of aggregate COFER data on its website on December 21, 2005. (http://www-stg-ext/external/np/sta/cofer/eng/index.htm). B= efore this launch, annual aggregate COFER data had only been published in t= he IMF's Annual Reports. The published data are presented in aggregate form= for each currency for three groupings: all countries, industrial countries= , and developing countries. The classification of countries and the definit= ion of foreign exchange reserves follow those currently used in the IMF's I= FS.
=E2=80=A2 In consultation with other international organizations,= the IMF is working at a Coordinated Direct Investment Survey (CDIS) with a= reference date of end-2009 among member states. The CDIS will result in th= e assemblage of a comprehensive database of direct investment positions dat= a (as of the end of 2009), disaggregated by instrument----and by counterpar= t economy of immediate investor. The survey is being conducted in a harmoni= zed manner, so that the same principles are applied by participants with re= spect to valuation. More than 130 economies have expressed interest in part= icipating in the CDIS. Interest in the CDIS is broadly based, with strong r= epresentation from developing and emerging economies, and with virtually al= l advanced economies indicating their interest in participating.
=E2= =80=A2 The IMF published a draft survey guide in early 2008 that sets out t= he principles under which the CDIS will be conducted, as well as provide pr= actical guidance for those economies that do not have experience in conduct= ing a direct investment survey. The Guide contains model survey forms that = countries can modify to meet their own local circumstances. The survey guid= e is available from the CDIS website ( It has been transl= ated into Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish. The Statistics Dep= artment has also published a short information pamphlet in each of these la= nguages. The IMF, in collaboration with its interagency partners, as releva= nt, conducted nine seminars in all regions of the world in 2008 These semin= ars explained the purpose of the survey and clarified the practical dimensi= ons of what the survey seeks to collect. In 2009, a series of workshops wer= e held, focusing on participants' preparations for the survey. In addition,= these workshops drew on other participants' experiences in areas of concer= n in conducting surveys. A further round of workshops is being planned for = 2010 or early 2011.


External Debt Statistics


=E2=80=A2 Under the aegis of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Finance Stat= istics (TFFS), which is chaired by the IMF, the External Debt Statistics: G= uide for Compilers and Users was published in 2003 to set the standards in = this field of statistics.
=E2=80=A2 The IMF provides technical assist= ance in external debt to member countries through a variety of venues, incl= uding staff and expert missions to individual countries, and joint training= activities with the members of the TFFS (comprising the Bank for Internati= onal Settlements (BIS), Commonwealth Secretariat, European Central Bank, Eu= rostat, IMF, OECD, Paris Club Secretariat, UNCTAD, and the World Bank).
=E2=80=A2 In collaboration with the IMF, the World Bank launched in 2004= a Quarterly External Debt Database that now offers access to external debt= statistics of 61 countries that disseminate external debt data according t= o the requirements of the IMF's Special Data Dissemination Standard, and to= gross public external debt statistics of 30 countries that provide their d= ata according to the recommendations of the IMF's General Data Disseminatio= n System. The IMF in collaboration with the BIS, OECD, and the World Bank l= aunched the Joint External Debt Hub (JEDH) website in March 2006, bringing = together external debt statistics produced from creditor/market sources tog= ether with debtor sources. This last source is taken from the Quarterly Ext= ernal Database. The JEDH website is found
=E2=80=A2http://www/jedh.orgThe IM= F collects and disseminates International Investment Position statistics, o= f which external debt data are an integral.

2.7 Prices

Price Statistics

=E2=80=A2 The IMF participates in the Inter-Secretariat Working Group on= Price Statistics (IWGPS) and, the Technical Expert Group for Producer Pric= e Indices (TEG-PPI) Program. The IMF continues to play a major role in the = development and implementation of price statistics manuals, chairing the IW= GPS in 2005 and 2006, publishing French and Spanish versions of the CPI Man= ual in 2006, Russian in 2007, and Chinese in 2008. The IMF edited and publi= shed the Export and Import Price Index Manual of the IWGPS in 2009, availab= le in softcopy at index.htm. The IMF supports an initiative by the OECD to draft a House = Price Index Handbook, following an OECD-IMF Workshop in 2006 on Real Estate= Price Indices.
=E2=80=A2 The IMF maintains a presence in price index= research and contributions to related manuals and handbooks, recent contri= butions including issues in hedonic indices, elementary index number formul= as, real estate price indices, and the index of industrial production.
=E2=80=A2 The IMF will continue to conduct courses on consumer and produc= er price statistics, XMPIs, and core inflation.
=E2=80=A2 The IMF als= o conducts on-site missions to its member countries to assess the quality o= f their consumer and producer price indices and assist in their further dev= elopment. The assessments are disseminated as data modules Report on Observ= ance of Standards and Codes (ROSCs), as outlined in 2.2 above.
=E2=80= =A2 The IMF provides technical assistance in price statistics to member cou= ntries through a variety of venues, including staff and expert missions to = individual countries.
=E2=80=A2 The IMF collects and disseminates pri= ce statistics data on member countries through its International Financial = Statistics publications and the DSBB, as well as providing hyperlinks to se= lected individual country data systems. Databases available to subscribers = on CD-ROM include the following publications: International Financial Stati= stics (IFS) and the International Financial Statistics Yearbook.
=E2= =80=A2 The monthly edition of IFS is available to subscribers on the Intern= et and the complete searchable IFS database has become available since Janu= ary 2002.
=E2=80=A2 The IMF continued its contribution to the Technic= al Advisory Group of the International Comparisons Program (ICP) based at t= he World Bank. The ICP produces international price indices called purchasi= ng power parities that allow comparison of GDP volume levels among countrie= s for a benchmark year, most recently for 2005. In December 2007, the ICP i= ssued purchasing power parities from its 2005 benchmark round that were sub= sequently used in the World Economic Outlook and IFS publications. The new = price indices also were used in producing the ICP's GDP volume data for IMF= member countries at purchasing power parity. The Fund is also participatin= g in preparation for the upcoming 2011 round of the ICP and is contributing= to its Handbook.