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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

Boughton James M. and William H. Branson

Abstract

Changes in commodity prices have long played an important indicative role in analyses or global economic conditions, principally because of their importance for developing countries. More than 50 countries derive at least 50 percent of their export earnings from nonfuel primary commodities; another 18 derive the majority of their export earnings from fuels (see IMF (1990), pp. 117–20). Changes in the terms of trade for these countries typically arise largely from changes in world commodity prices.2 Recently, however, attention has also been drawn to the importance of changes in commodity prices as indicators of changes in inflationary conditions affecting industrial countries. For example, the World Economic Outlook recently began to include an analysis comparing percentage changes in an index of 40 primary commodity prices with the aggregate inflation rate of the seven major industrial countries (the Group of Seven). (See IMF (1990), p. 13.) Two related papers, Boughton, Branson, and Muttardy (1989) and Boughton and Branson (1990b), examine the usefulness of commodity price indexes as leading indicators of inflation in each of the Group of Seven countries individually. This paper focuses on the Group of Seven as a group, in order to shed light more directly on the relationship between world commodity price movements and aggregate industrial country inflation.

Artis Michael and Mr. Tamim Bayoumi

Abstract

The last decade has witnessed a marked increase in the degree of current account imbalances among the industrial countries. At the same time, it is evident that the capital markets of these same countries have become more closely linked to each other. The coincidence of these two observations sets the agenda for this paper, which is the extent of global financial integration and its consequences. In particular, in view of the significance traditionally attached to current account balance as a policy objective and the role that current account balance has acquired in the exercise of international economic policy coordination, the paper discusses the implications of the new circumstances brought about by capital market integration for the importance of the current account position as a policy objective.

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).

Evans Owen

Abstract

The national saving rate declined in many industrial countries in the 1980s, and this tendency toward decline has became a subject of discussion and analysis.2 In particular, the national saving rate in the United States has dropped markedly in the 1980s, with both the public and private components exhibiting declines. This paper discusses reasons for the decline and reviews possible responses by policymakers. In a recent speech, the Managing Director of the Fund observed that “a strong argument could… be made for the Federal Government to run a significant surplus to offset the low level of private saving.”3 This paper develops an analytical basis for such an argument and makes some preliminary attempts at quantifying what magnitude of surplus might be desirable. The general approach and methodology that are taken could be applied more widely than in the U.S. context. To provide background for the policy issues analyzed later in the paper, the first two sections review the magnitude of the decline in savings rates relative to historical averages, address questions related to measurement, and discuss the factors underlying the recent decline in the national saving rate.

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 technical advice and recommendations given by the IMF mission to the authorities of Uganda regarding finalization of the rebased GDP estimates for dissemination. For the economic activity worksheets, the nominal and real growth rates, intermediate consumption/gross output ratios at current and constant prices, and implicit price deflators were checked. A number of adjustments were made to the methodology to improve the representativeness of the indicators and the weights of the composite price indices to ensure the resulting estimates are within expectations. There is considerable scope to improve the price deflators and constant price estimates. Technical Assistance to improve the expenditure estimates will be provided during 2015.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
This Technical Assistance Report discusses the technical advice and recommendations given by the IMF mission to the authorities of Uganda regarding compilation of quarterly national accounts statistics. The finalization of the supply and use tables has involved incorporation of significantly revised source data for a number of industries since November 2013, as well as changes in the input data resulting from the implementation of methodological improvements. The Uganda Bureau of Statistics has also made a significant effort to finalize the source data and improve coverage of the economy over the past six months, resulting in revised data for a number of industries. The net impact has been to increase the GDP level by economic activity.
Mr. Angel J. Ubide
Mozambique’s inflation rate was consistently high until 1995, and then plunged in 1996 to 17 percent from 70 percent in 1994. This paper suggests that Mozambique’s inflation pattern is a combination of a “fundamental” trend set by economic policies, seasonal behavior that follows closely that of agriculture, and a collection of irregular events that corresponds mainly to agroclimatic conditions. The empirical results show that the marked tightening of monetary policy in 1996 was the ultimate reason for the control of inflation in 1996, and hence seems to correspond to a change in the “fundamental” trend of inflation that may have long-lasting effects.