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International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

This report examines whether the IMF has effectively leveraged an important asset: data. It finds that in general, the IMF has been able to rely on a large amount of data of acceptable quality, and that data provision from member countries has improved markedly over time. Nonetheless, problems with data or data practices have, at times, adversely affected the IMF’s surveillance and lending activities. The roots of data problems are diverse, ranging from problems due to member countries’ capacity constraints or reluctance to share sensitive data to internal issues such as lack of appropriate staff incentives, institutional rigidities, and long-standing work practices. Efforts to tackle these problems are piecemeal, the report finds, without a clear comprehensive strategy that recognizes data as an institutional strategic asset, not just a consumption good for economists. The report makes a number of recommendations that could promote greater progress in this regard.

Adelheid Burgi-Schmelz

Crisis Stalls Globalization: Reshaping the World Economy" examines the multiple facets of the recession-from the impact on individual economies to the effect on the global payments imbalances that were partially at the root of the crisis-and offers a variety of suggestions for supporting a recovery and averting future crises. Several IMF studies shed light on the depth of the crisis-including a survey of the sharp drop in trade finance, along with quantitative findings about the direct and indirect costs of the financial turbulence-and debate what is to be done from several angles, including the redesign of the regulatory framework and ways to plug large data gaps to prevent future crises and aid in the creation of early warning systems. Opinion pieces discuss the shifting boundaries between the state and markets, the agenda for financial sector reform, and the governance of global financial markets. The issue also includes a historical perspective to see when restructuring the global financial architecture actually succeeds. "People in Economics" profiles Nouriel Roubini; "Back to Basics" looks at what makes a recession; and "Data Spotlight" examines Latin America's debt.

Mr. Nils O Maehle, Mr. Robert Dippelsman, and Mr. Adriaan M. Bloem

Abstract

1.1. Quarterly national accounts (QNA) constitute a system of integrated quarterly time series coordinated through an accounting framework. QNA adopt the same principles, definitions, and structure as the annual national accounts (ANA). In principle, QNA cover the entire sequence of accounts and balance sheets in the System of National Accounts 1993 (1993 SNA); in practice, the constraints of data availability, time, and resources mean that QNA are usually less complete than ANA. The coverage of the QNA system in a country usually evolves. In the initial stage of implementation, only estimates of gross domestic product (GDP) with a split by industry and/or type of expenditure may be derived. Gross national income (GNI), savings, and consolidated accounts for the nation can follow fairly soon. Extensions can be made as the use of the system becomes more established, resources become available, and users become more sophisticated; additional breakdowns of GDP, institutional sector accounts and balance sheets, and supply-use reconciliation may be added.1

Mr. Nils O Maehle, Mr. Robert Dippelsman, and Mr. Adriaan M. Bloem

Abstract

2.1. Strategic statistical and managerial issues have to be dealt with to facilitate a smooth and efficient operation of quarterly national accounts (QNA). These issues arise when QNA are being set up, and it could be useful to revisit them from time to time once the QNA are fully operational. The most important statistical issues to be considered are the relationship of the QNA to the annual national accounts (ANA), coverage of the QNA, assessment of quarterly source data, and statistical compilation processes. Important managerial aspects concern the release cycle, the timing of the compilation process, and organizing the staff involved in the compilation. In this chapter, both statistical and managerial issues are examined from a strategic perspective, without much detail (statistical issues will be discussed in more detail in later chapters).

Mr. Nils O Maehle, Mr. Robert Dippelsman, and Mr. Adriaan M. Bloem

Abstract

3.1. This chapter deals with the process of identification and assessment of quarterly data sources. Because circumstances differ, it is not possible to create a standard set of sources that can be applied in all countries. Rather, the approach taken in this chapter is to describe the alternatives that are used in quarterly national accounts (QNA) compilation in various countries and some of the considerations that need to be taken into account in choosing among them.

International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
This Technical Assistance Report discusses the recommendations made by the IMF mission to assist the Central Bank of Bosnia Herzegovina (CBBH) in the compilation and dissemination of government finance statistics (GFS) in accordance with the guidelines of the Government Finance Statistics Manual 2001 and its update. It is recommended that the legal basis for the collection of GFS data by the CBBH should be strengthened to get more easily access to (confidential) data which serve as input for GFS. The production of GFS could benefit from more cooperation between the CBBH, the Ministries of Finance, and the National Bureau of Statistic. A permanent working group of compilers of macroeconomic statistics in different institutions should be set up to this aim.
International Monetary Fund
This technical note focuses on recent developments to the Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC) on Fiscal Transparency and Data Modules for Sweden. The authorities are implementing recommendations of the fiscal ROSC module. The government has decided to reform the state audit organization (RRV) as recommended by the report. Effective 2003, the RRV will be transformed from a government agency to an audit office under parliament, staffed by independent officials. The authorities are also following up on recommendations regarding data-related standards and codes.
International Monetary Fund
The paper provides a summary of Uruguay's practices with respect to the coverage, periodicity, and timeliness of the Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS) data categories, and an assessment of the quality of national accounts, prices, fiscal, monetary and financial, and external sector statistics. Uruguay has made good progress recently in improving the dissemination of statistical information. The Internet pages of the Central Bank of Uruguay (BCU) and the National Institute of Statistics (INE) allow increasingly detailed monitoring of developments in the Uruguayan economy.
International Monetary Fund
This update to the Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC)—Data Module on Greece highlights general recommendations, consumer price index, government finance statistics, and balance-of-payment statistics. The National Statistical Service of Greece (NSSG) has been working toward publishing in 2005 detailed government finance statistics, including time series. National accounts press releases include charts and commentaries about recent developments. The NSSG is investigating whether provisional structural surveys could be used to improve the timeliness of the weight revisions.