Summary of WP/92/93
“Linkages Between External Debt Data and Balance of Payments, Government Finance, and Monetary Statistics” by Jan Bové
This paper provides, first, a brief review of the governmental, private, and external sectors of an economy, focusing particularly on external financing. Second, it describes the salient features of statistical systems that allow economic analysts and policymakers to examine the linkages between these sectors so as to provide a global view of economic conditions. Third, it addresses issues in the compilation of those statistics. A set of tables presenting some important macroeconomic statistics, based broadly on economic characteristics for African nations, illustrates linkages between the statistics on external debt and debt-related flows. Problems commonly encountered in assuring consistency between the data sets are also discussed.
The paper concludes that, although considerable progress has been made in measuring external debt and related flows, further improvements are needed. To help compilers achieve greater consistency among the statistics, thereby augmenting their usefulness for analysts and policymakers, low-cost but vital measures should be taken, including improved communications among compilers of related statistics, better knowledge of internationally accepted statistical methodologies, and a stricter adherence to those methodologies. The need for increased resources to develop statistical systems is also recognized.