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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.

International Monetary Fund

This Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes Data Module provides a review of Bulgaria’s data dissemination practices against the IMF’s special data dissemination standard, complemented by an in-depth assessment of the quality of the national accounts, consumer price index, producer price index, government finance, monetary, and balance-of-payments statistics. Bulgaria has adopted a restructuring program, aimed at stabilization and significant improvements in fiscal and monetary statistics. Bulgarian statistics have been relevant, consistent, and available on a timely basis with good frequency.

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.

International Monetary Fund
This Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC) data module provides a review of Italy’s data dissemination practices against the IMF’s Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS), complemented by an in-depth assessment of the quality of national accounts, consumer price index, producer price index, government finance, monetary, and balance-of-payments statistics. The assessment reveals that Italy subscribes to the SDDS. It also meets the SDDS specifications for coverage, periodicity, and timeliness for all data categories (with two exceptions) and for advance release calendars.
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
Malta’s financial sector has so far weathered the global turmoil relatively unscathed; the real economy has been decelerating since the last quarter of 2008. The staff report for Malta’s 2009 Article IV Consultation underlies economic developments and policies. The fiscal position deteriorated sharply in 2008, owing to one-offs and spending slippages. The current account deficit improved to 5½ percent of GDP. The immediate goal for fiscal policy should be to mitigate the negative spillovers on activity from the global crisis without compromising the already fragile public finances.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
This Technical Assistance Report discusses the findings and recommendations made by the IMF mission to assist authorities in Rwanda in aligning the compilation and dissemination of government finance statistics (GFS) in accordance with the Government Finance Statistics Manual 2014. It was recommended that the Ministry of Finance (MINECOFIN) should officially assign GFS compilation duties to a specific subset of its staff. The mission believes that it is important for the MINECOFIN to make a “permanent” assignment of GFS compilation and dissemination duties so that the work can evolve systematically. In the mission’s view, the Macroeconomic Policy Unit appears to be well placed to perform this task. However, the unit should be allocated appropriate resources to take on the responsibility.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This 2013 Article IV Consultation highlights that the economy of Trinidad and Tobago is poised for a modest recovery in 2013, after disappointing growth in 2012 that was owing to largely supply constraints, including maintenance operations in the energy sector and an industrial dispute in the nonenergy sector. The IMF staff projects real GDP growth of some 1.5 percent in 2013, with risks slightly to the downside, should development spending be under-executed. Headline inflation rose to 9.3 percent in 2012. Executive Directors welcomed the signs of economic recovery, fueled by growth of the nonenergy sector.