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Data release: IMF joins with other organizations to publish joint statistics on external debt

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Published Date:
January 1999
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The aim of this initiative is to facilitate access to a single set of data that brings together information currently compiled and published separately by the contributing institutions on components of countries’ external debt. The publication also includes data on international reserves.

This is a project of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Finance Statistics, which coordinates work on finance statistics. It is chaired by the IMF and comprises, in addition to the four above-mentioned organizations, the United Nations, the European Central Bank, and Eurostat [the Statistical Office of the European Communities].

The statistics are mostly from creditor and market sources, but also include data provided by debtor countries. Particular emphasis is placed on debt due within a year. Also, to help analysts, flow data (where available) are provided in addition to stock data. There remain differences between the series in their coverage, frequency, and the time lag before publication, and the data do not yet provide a completely comprehensive and consistent measure of total external debt in each country. Nevertheless, they bring together for the first time the best international comparative data currently available on external debt.

The coverage, definitions, and limitations are explained in a methodological note on the website. Currently, the figures cover essentially all countries and territories on the list of aid recipients of the Development Assistance Committee of the OECD, including practically all non-OECD countries, as well as the Czech Republic, Hungary, Korea, Mexico, Poland, and Turkey. Data for off shore financial centers are separately distinguished.

This publication is part of an evolutionary process. The contributing institutions are currently working on improving the comprehensiveness, quality, and timeliness of the statistics.

See table (facing page) for a list of available data series and a brief description.

Joint statistics on external debt
Data SeriesSourceDescription
External debt—all maturities
ABank loans1BISLoans from banks resident in 18 major industrial countries and 6 off shore centers
BDebt securities issued abroad2BISMoney market instruments, bonds, and notes issued in international markets by both public and private sector borrowers
CBrady bonds2World BankBonds issued to restructure commercial bank debt under the 1989 Brady Plan
DNonbank trade credits1OECDOfficial and officially guaranteed nonbank export credits from 21 OECD countries
EMultilateral claims (IBRD, IDA, IMF)2World Bank/IMFIBRD loans and IDA credits from the World Bank and use of IMF credit
FOfficial bilateral loans (DAC creditors)2OECDConcessional (aid) and other loans provided mainly for developmental purposes by the 21 member countries of the OECD Development Assistance Committee
Debt due within a year3
GLiabilities to banksBISLiabilities to banks that are headquartered in 18 major industrial countries and that report their claims on a worldwide consolidated basis. The data include holdings of short-term securities, which are also included in line H.
HDebt securities issued abroadBISMoney market instruments, bonds, and notes issued in international markets by both public and private sector borrowers. The data include securities held by foreign banks, which are also included in line G.
INonbank trade creditsOECDOfficial and officially guaranteed nonbank export credits from 21 OECD countries
Memorandum items
JTotal liabilities to banks (locational)1BISLiabilities to banks resident in 18 major industrial countries and 6 off shore centers (line A plus banks’ holdings of debt securities, which are partly included in line B, plus other claims that are not loans or debt securities)
KOf which: officially guaranteed trade credits2OECDOfficially guaranteed export credits from banks in 21 OECD countries, included in lines A and J (lines D + K = total export credits)
LTotal liabilities to banks (consolidated)BISLiabilities to banks that are headquartered in 18 major industrial countries and that report their claims on a worldwide consolidated basis, both short-term (line G) and long-term liabilities
MInternational reserve assets (excluding gold)IMFMonetary authorities’ holdings of SDRs, reserve position in the IMF, and foreign exchange assets
Note: Amounts outstanding at the end of each period (stocks).Data: Joint BIS-IMF-OECD-World Bank statistics on external debt (www.oecd.org/dac/debt)

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