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International Monetary Fund
Published Date:
December 2011
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    INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND

    Public Sector Debt Statistics

    Guide for Compilers and Users

    © 2011 International Monetary Fund

    Revised Second Printing 2013

    Cataloging-in-Publication Data

    Public sector debt statistics : guide for compilers and users. — Washington, DC : International Monetary Fund, 2011.

    p.; cm.

    “This volume is the first global guide on public sector debt statistics. This guide has been prepared under the joint responsibility of nine organizations, through the mechanism of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Finance Statistics (TFFS)”—Foreword.

    “Public sector debt statistics : guide for compilers and users provides guidance on (1) concepts, definitions, and classifications of public sector debt statistics, (2) the sources and techniques for compiling these data, and (3) some analytical tools that may be used to analyze these statistics”—Pref.

    • Includes index.

    • ISBN 9781616351564

    1. Debts, Public - Statistics - Handbooks, manuals, etc. 2. Debts, Public - Statistical methods - Handbooks, manuals, etc. I. International Monetary Fund. II. Inter-Agency Task Force on Finance Statistics.

    HJ8015.P86 2011

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    Table of Contents

    Foreword

    This volume, Public Sector Debt Statistics: Guide for Compilers and Users (the Guide), is the first global guide on public sector debt statistics. Like the External Debt Statistics: Guide for Compilers and Users, this Guide has been prepared under the joint responsibility of nine organizations, through the mechanism of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Finance Statistics (TFFS). The preparation of the Guide was based on the broad range of experience of our institutions and benefited from consultation with national compilers of government finance and public sector debt statistics.

    The international financial crisis in recent years, and the associated large fiscal deficits and debt levels in many countries, underscored the importance of reliable and timely statistics on general government and, more broadly, public sector debt as a critical element in countries’ fiscal and possibly external sustainability. Against this background, the focus of this Guide is on improving the quality and timeliness of these key debt statistics and promoting a convergence of recording practices. This Guide is a useful source of reference for national compilers and users, and we recommend its adoption by countries when compiling and disseminating these data.

    The concepts set out in the Guide are harmonized with those of the System of National Accounts 2008 (2008 SNA) and the Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual, Sixth Edition (BPM6). The same classifications and definitions will be used in the forthcoming revision Government Finance Statistics Manual, but differ in minor ways from the current edition, Government Finance Statistics Manual 2001 (GFSM 2001).

    Jaime Caruana

    General Manager

    Bank for International Settlements

    Kamalesh Sharma

    Commonwealth Secretary-General

    The Commonwealth Secretariat

    Jean-Claude Trichet

    President

    European Central Bank

    Olli Rehn

    Commissioner

    European Commission

    John Lipsky

    Acting Managing Director

    International Monetary Fund

    Angel Gurría

    Secretary-General

    Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

    Claire Cheremetinski

    Secretary-GeneralThe Paris Club Secretariat

    Supachai Panitchpakdi

    Secretary-General

    The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

    Robert Zoellick

    President

    The World Bank Group

    Preface

    The need for comprehensive, internationally comparable, and reliable information on debt of the general government and, more broadly, the public sector to inform policymakers, financial markets, and other users of statistics has long been recognized. The need for improving the availability and international comparability of general government and public sector debt statistics was once again reinforced by the international financial crisis that started in 2007. Because they carry obligations to make future payments, debt liabilities have the potential to create circumstances that render not only government and public corporations, but also the entire economy, vulnerable to solvency and liquidity problems. Moreover, as experience has shown, these vulnerabilities can have widespread economic costs, and not just for the initially affected economy. To this end, the Public Sector Debt Statistics: Guide for Compilers and Users (the Guide) provides guidance on (1) the concepts, definitions, and classifications of public sector debt statistics; (2) the sources and techniques for compiling these data; and (3) some analytical tools that may be used to analyze these statistics. The Guide is intended for compilers and users of public sector debt statistics.

    Background

    The definition of debt in the Government Finance Statistics Manual 2001 (GFSM 2001), which is based on the System of National Accounts, 1993, is consistent with that in other macroeconomic statistical systems. The GFSM 2001 expanded the focus to the entire balance sheet, along with the flows that affect assets and liabilities. This Guide provides, therefore, the first internationally accepted comprehensive guidance for the compilation and dissemination of debt statistics covering the public sector (i.e., government and public corporations). It complements the External Debt Statistics: Guide for Compilers and Users.

    This Guide provides a comprehensive conceptual framework for the measurement of gross and net debt of the public sector and all of its components. This guidance can be applied across the different components of the public sector and across various liabilities that constitute public sector debt. The Guide provides a structure for classifying debt liabilities by instrument and by sector of the counterpart to the debt instrument. The Guide also advises on practical problems in recording public sector debt, including numerical examples.

    To present debt statistics for the general government and, more broadly, the public sector, in a transparent and comprehensive manner to users, this Guide proposes a core set of tables, which are grouped into two summary tables, five detailed tables, and six memorandum tables. Specific country circumstances can be accommodated by expanding some of the tables to include additional information, or by providing the relevant information in additional tables. This Guide includes an overview of the main considerations in the data collection, compilation, and dissemination of debt statistics for the public sector and its components. It addresses the often difficult issue of identifying the holders of traded debt securities, and discusses approaches to consolidation of public sector debt statistics. The Guide offers an overview of some tools used in the analysis of public sector debt statistics. The work of international agencies in the field of general government and public sector debt statistics is outlined.

    The Guide is primarily intended to serve as a reference for compilers and users of public sector debt statistics. We hope that this Guide will contribute to more accurate and more internationally comparable general government and, more broadly, public sector debt statistics and an improved understanding of the complex issues involved.

    Acknowledgments

    The production of the Guide has been jointly undertaken by the international agencies that participate in the Inter-Agency Task Force on Finance Statistics (TFFS), in consultation with national compilers of public sector debt and government finance statistics. The TFFS is one of the interagency task forces formed under the aegis of the United Nations Statistical Commission and the Administrative Committee on Coordination/ Sub-Committee on Statistical Activities. The TFFS is chaired by the IMF, and the work on the Guide involved representatives from the BIS, the Commonwealth Secretariat, the European Central Bank (ECB), the Statistical Office of the European Communities (Eurostat), the IMF, the OECD, the Paris Club Secretariat, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and the World Bank. The core participants in the TFFS’s work on the Guide are listed below (affiliations are those in effect during the time of preparation of the Guide). Their expert contributions and comments made possible the production of the Guide.

    ChairMr. Robert Heath, Assistant Director, Statistics Department, IMF.
    BISMr. Karsten von Kleist, Deputy Head, International Banking and Financial Statistics, Research and Statistics, Monetary and Economic Department.
    Commonwealth SecretariatMr. Arindam Roy, Adviser and Head (Debt Management)/Special Advisory Division.
    ECBHans Olsson, Senior Research Analyst, Euro Area Accounts and Economic Data, Directorate General Statistics.
    EurostatMs. Isabel Gancedo Vallina, Statistical Officer, Unit C5—Government and Sector Accounts; Financial Indicators, Directorate C—National and European Accounts.
    IMFMr. Robert Dippelsman, Deputy Chief, Government Finance Division, Statistics Department, and Mr. Tobias (Murto) Wickens, Senior Economist, Government Finance Division, Statistics Department.
    OECDMs. Yasmin Ahmad, Principal Administrator, Development Co-operation Directorate, Statistics and Monitoring Division.
    Paris Club SecretariatMr. Nicolas Grislain, Deputy Head of International Debt and Paris Club Secretariat, Directorate-General of the French Treasury.
    UNCTADMr. Balliram Baball, Training Coordinator/Senior Debt Management Expert.
    World BankMr. Ibrahim Levent, Senior Information Officer, Financial Data Team, Development Data Group.

    The preparation of this Guide was primarily undertaken in the IMF (affiliations are those in effect during the time of preparation of the Guide). Mr. Tobias (Murto) Wickens (Senior Economist, Government Finance Division, Statistics Department) was the primary drafter and also coordinated and edited the contributions of TFFS participants, national agencies, and other experts. The work was supervised by Mr. Robert Heath (Assistant Director, Statistics Department), Mr. Keith Dublin (Chief, Government Finance Division, Statistics Department, until 2008), Ms. Claudia Dziobek (Chief, Government Finance Division, Statistics Department, 2008 -), and Mr. Robert Dippelsman (Deputy Chief, Government Finance Division, Statistics Department). Many staff in the Government Finance Division (in particular, Mrs. Sagé de Clerck and Mr. Gary Jones, Senior Economists, and Mr. Miguel Alves and Ms. Majdeline El Rayess, Economists), the Balance of Payments Division (Mr. Eduardo Valdivia-Velarde, Deputy Chief; Mr. Jean Galand, Senior Economist; and Ms. Rita Mesias, Senior Economist), and other divisions of the Statistics Department contributed to the project.

    Staff from other IMF departments also contributed. In particular, from the Fiscal Affairs Department: Ms. Adrienne Cheasty (Senior Advisor), Mr. John Gardner (Technical Assistance Advisor), Mr. Tim Irwin (Technical Assistance Advisor), Mr. Abdul Khan (Senior Economist), Mr. Edouard Martin (Senior Economist), Ms. Isabel Rial (Senior Economist); from the Finance Department: Mr. George Kabwe (Deputy Division Chief), Mr. Barry Yuen (Deputy Division Chief), and Mr. Carlos Janada (Senior Economist); from the Monetary and Capital Markets Department: Mr. Udaibir Das (Assistant Director), Mr. Christian Mulder (Deputy Division Chief), Ms. Allison Holland (Senior Finance Sector Expert), Mr. Guilherme Pedras (Technical Assistance Advisor); from the Strategy, Policy, and Review Department: Mr. Dominique Desruelle (Assistant Director), Mr. Hervé Joly (Division Chief), Mr. Birgir Arnason and Mr. Andrew Kitili (Senior Economists), and Mr. Kenji Hosono (Economist).

    The Guide also benefited from written contributions of other experts in the participating agencies; in particular:

    Commonwealth SecretariatMr. Walton Gilpin, Adviser: Debt Management, Special Advisory Services Division; and Mr. Vikas Pandey, Systems Development Officer, Special Advisory Division.
    ECBMs. Julia Catz, Principal Economist-Statistician, Euro Area Accounts and Economic data, Directorate General Statistics; Ms Marta Rodriguez Vives, Senior Economist, Fiscal Policies, Directorate General Economics; and Mr. Remigio Echeverría, Head of Section, Euro Area Accounts and Economic data, Directorate General Statistics.
    EurostatMr. John Verrinder, Head of Unit C5—Government and Sector Accounts; Financial Indicators, Directorate C—National and European Accounts.
    OECDMr. Hans Blommestein, Head of Bond Market and Public Debt Management Unit, Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs, Financial Affairs Division; Mr. Nadim Ahmad, Head of Annual National Accounts, PPPs, Prices and productivity Section, Statistics Directorate, National Accounts Division; and Ms. Michéle Chavoix-Mannato, Head of Quarterly National Accounts & Financial Statistics Section, Statistics Directorate, National Accounts Division.
    UNCTADMs. Vanessa de Thorpe, Project Manager, DMFAS Programme; Mr. Gerry Teeling, Chief, DMFAS Programme; and Ms. Yuefen Li, Head, Debt and Development Finance Branch; Mr. Gabor Piski, Project Manager; and Mr. Diego Rivetti, Project Manager.
    World BankMs. Evis Rucaj, Statistical Officer, Financial Data Team, Development Data Group.

    The TFFS acknowledges, with gratitude, the contributions of many compilers and users of public sector debt statistics in member countries, in particular: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Italy, Romania, South Africa, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. Reponses to requests for comments on the draft Guide posted on the TFFS Web site in August 2010 came from many official agencies in countries across the world and the text greatly benefited from these views.

    Adelheid Burgi-Schmelz

    Director

    Statistics Department

    International Monetary Fund

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