Statistics on exports and imports by partner country are maintained in the data base and disseminated through publications and magnetic tapes. The Guide describes the collection, compilation, and dissemination of these statistics; discusses the concepts, methodology, coverage, and reliability of data for trade by partner countries; and provides information for accessing the data base.
This paper describes that in developing countries, the moves toward more flexible exchange rate arrangements and liberalization of exchange controls often occurred in the context of comprehensive macroeconomic adjustment programs supported by the IMF. These programs featured a broad range of policy actions, including an increasing emphasis on structural reforms aimed at improving resource allocation and enhancing the supply response of the economy. With respect to restrictive systems, the trend toward liberalization of nontrade current and capital transactions continues, primarily because it is seen as ineffective, even counterproductive, to try to control such financial flows. This trend contrasts with trade where it appears that some major participants have been awaiting the outcome of the Uruguay Round before further reducing restrictions. A single currency peg has been the exchange arrangement most frequently used by developing countries, of which over one third currently have such an arrangement. This type of peg has the merit of being easy to administer and is generally chosen by countries that have a large share of foreign exchange transactions in the currency chosen as the peg.
Customs documents and the foreign exchange control record (exchange record) are the two principal sources of external trade statistics. Most countries use only customs documents, required from importers and exporters when clearing merchandise, as the principal source of external trade statistics. A country’s customs administration, sometimes partly in collaboration with the central statistical office, compiles these data.
The collected reported data are then processed in the data base for the direction of trade statistics. In turn, the availability of current trade data, supplemented with estimates for individual countries, facilitates the continuous data base update of world and area table aggregates. Section 3.1 explains how the data base reformats reported data to impart uniformity before data are stored, section 3.2 outlines estimation procedures, and section 3.3 reviews data base compilation of aggregates for world and area tables.
Direction of trade statistics are published in quarterly and yearbook issues of DOTS and in monthly magnetic tapes;1 a CD-ROM is planned. All data published in DOTS and tapes are drawn from the direction of trade statistics data base, the content of which has been outlined in section 3 of this guide.
The direction of trade statistics data base is a subsystem of the Economic Information System (EIS) of the Fund’s Statistics Department. This section provides information for internal access to the data base.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This paper describes declining activity that was responsible for a weakening of import demand in the industrial countries. There was also a marked reduction in the growth of the volume of imports by the non-oil developing countries, notwithstanding a substantial increase in external borrowing at higher costs and a considerable reduction in the real value of their international reserves arising mainly from rapid inflation. The current account positions of a number of industrial and non-oil developing countries thus became increasingly difficult in 1980. In an overall setting of excess capacity and rising unemployment, demands for protectionist measures in industrial countries intensified during the period under review.