The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
The quality of the estimated data in DOTS depends on the availability and accuracy of direction of trade reports and the estimation methodology. Because of the low coverage of monthly reporting, the estimating procedure plays a role of increased importance. This study, however, reveals two deficiencies in current DOTS estimation methodology: The information on total trade in IFS is not efficiently used, and the assumed uniform 10 percent CIF/FOB factor is inappropriate. Accuracy would be improved if IFS total trade were allocated, when available, according to the shares of total trade derived from partner data; and the uniform 10 percent CIF/FOB factors were replaced by adjustment factors derived from historical data.