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.
This paper provides an overview of indicators that can be used to illustrate and analyze liquidity developments in financial markets. The measures include bid-ask spreads, turnover ratios, and price impact measures. They gauge different aspects of market liquidity, namely tightness (costs), immediacy, depth, breadth, and resiliency. These measures are applied in selected foreign exchange, money, and capital markets to illustrate their operational usefulness. A number of measures must be considered because there is no single theoretically correct and universally accepted measure to determine a market's degree of liquidity and because market-specific factors and peculiarities must be considered.