3. Data Coverage, Periodicity, and Timeliness: General Considerations

International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
Published Date:
December 2013
  • ShareShare
Show Summary Details

3.1 The GDDS objectives for coverage, periodicity, and timeliness are summarized in Table 1. Recommended coverage features of the GDDS are listed under the “Components” column. However, some data categories or components are designated “as relevant” This designation recognizes that the relevance of a specific data category or component to an economy should be taken into account in the development of the statistical system. Where the periodicity, timeliness, or coverage components are designated as “encouraged,” countries are encouraged to develop and disseminate such data categories with the indicated periodicity and timeliness, but only after the main recommended components are regularly disseminated.

Table 3.1The General Data Dissemination System: Data Coverage, Periodicity, and Timeliness Macroeconomic and Financial Sectors and Sociodemographic Dat
Data Categories1ComponentsEncouraged Extension(s)PeriodicityTimeliness
Real sector
National accounts (GDP)*GDP in current prices and GDP volume by production approach, with disaggregated components; or

GDP in current prices and GDP volume by expenditure approach, with disaggregated components
Gross national income, capital formation, savingAnnual (quarterly encouraged)6–9 months
Production index/indices**Manufacturing or industrial, primary commodity, or sector coverage as relevantMonthly (as relevant)6–12 weeks
Labor marketEmployment, unemployment, wages/earnings, as relevantDisaggregation by age, sex, employment status, occupation, and industry as appropriateAnnual6–9 months
Price indicesConsumer price indexProducer price indexMonthly1–2 months
Fiscal sector
General government cash flow and/or operationsGeneral government or public sector operations data,2 where subnational levels of government or public enterprise operation are of analytical or policy importanceAnnual6–9 months
Central government cash flow and/or operations*For participants using the GFSM 1986 framework:Interest payments, indicated separately as a component of expenditureQuarterly (monthly encouraged)1 quarter (1 month encouraged)
Balance (deficit/surplus)
Aggregate financing, disaggregated by:
Domestic financing (bank, nonbank)
Foreign financing
If disaggregation by domestic (bank, nonbank) and foreign financing is not feasible, disaggregated by:
Maturity, and either
Instrument, or

Currency of issue
Central government cash flow and/or operations*For participants using the GFSM 2001 framework (see for example Tables 4.1 or 4.2 of the GFSM 2001):Interest payments, indicated separately as a component of expenditureQuarterly (monthly encouraged)1 quarter (1 month encouraged)
Statement of sources and uses of cash or cash flow (for cash-based data)
Cash receipts from operating activities
Cash payments for operating activities
Net cash inflow from operating activities
Net cash outflow from investments in nonfinancial assets
Cash surplus (+) / deficit (−)
Net acquisition of financial assets, excluding cash
Net incurrence of liabilities
Net cash inflow, financing activities
Net change in stock of cash
Statistical discrepancy
Total cash expenditure (memorandum item); or
Statement of government operations (for accrual-based data)3
Of which taxes
Gross operating balance
Net operating balance
Net acquisition of nonfinancial assets
Net lending (+) / borrowing (−)
Net acquisition of financial assets:

(1) Domestic

(2) Foreign
Net incurrence of liabilities:

(1) domestic

(2) Foreign
Statistical discrepancy
Total expenditure (memorandum item)
Central government debtDomestic and foreign gross debt, as relevant, with appropriate breakdowns (maturity, currency, residence of creditor, instrument), as relevantGovernment guaranteed debtQuarterly1–2 quarters
Financial sector
Depository corporations survey*Broad money (for example, M3)4Narrower (lower-ordered) monetary aggregates (such as M1 and M2)3Monthly1–3 months
Domestic claims:

(1a) Net claims on government; or

(1b) Claims on nonfinancial public sector (if public sector operations represent the comprehensive framework for the fiscal sector); and

(2) Claims on other resident sectors
Net foreign assets
Central bank survey**Monetary baseMonthly1–2 months
Interest ratesShort and long-term government security rates, policy-oriented rateMoney market or interbank rates and a range of deposit and lending ratesMonthly
Stock marketShare price index, as relevantMonthly
External sector
Balance of payments*Current account:

(1) Goods

(2) Services

(3) Income

(4) Current transfers Capital account Financial account:

(1) Direct investment

(2) Portfolio investment

(3) Other investment

(4) Reserve assets

Net errors and omissions
Disaggregation according to the standard components of the IMF Balance of Payments Manual (fifth edition)5Annual (quarterly strongly encouraged)6 months
Under financial account, separately report data on financial derivatives; assets and liabilities
External debt and debt service schedule**Public and publicly guaranteed external debt, broken down by maturityPublic and publicly guaranteed external debt by instrument breakdownQuarterly3–6 months
Public and publicly guaranteed external debt service schedulePublic and publicly guaranteed external debt service schedule disaggregated by:


Semiannual Schedule covering the next 4 quarters and then 2 subsequent semesters1–2 quarters
Private external debt not publicly guaranteedPrivate external debt service scheduleAnnual6–9 months
Official reserve assets**Gross official reserve assetsReserve-related liabilities6Monthly1–4 weeks (1 week encouraged)
Template on International Reserves and Foreign Currency Liquidity7Monthly1–3 months (1 month encouraged)
Merchandise trade**Total exports and total importsMajor commodity breakdowns with longer time lapseMonthly8–12 weeks
International investment position (IIP)*4Assets and liabilities, disaggregated by:

Direct investment

Disaggregation of assets and liabilities according to the standard components of the latest edition of the IMF Balance of Payments ManualAnnual6–9 months
Portfolio investment:

Disaggregated by equity securities and debt securities

Other investment
Under financial account, separately report data on financial derivatives; assets and liabilities
Reserve assets (included only in assets)
Exchange ratesSpot ratesDaily
Data Categories1Basic ComponentsEncouraged Extension(s)Related Indicators of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)8PeriodicityTimeliness
PopulationPopulation characteristics: Size and composition of the population, derived from census, surveys, or vital registration systemDisaggregation of population and vital statistics data by age, sex, and region, as appropriateAnnual (census every 10 years)3–6 months for annual updates 9–12 months for census
Dynamics of growth: Vital statistics—for example, births, deaths, and migrationReporting of mortality rates, crude birth rate, fertility rate, and life expectancyUnder-five mortality rate Infant mortality rate Adolescent birth rate
EducationInputs: Measures of current financial, human, and physical resources available to public and private (if significant) educational institutions, recorded by level of education or type of programDisaggregation of data by region recommended for all data categoriesAnnual6–12 months following beginning of school year
Characteristics of teaching staff, including training, experience, and terms of employment (full or part time)
Expenditures by households on education (including fees and other expenses for public or private education)
Process: Measures of student progress through school, such as enrollments, dropouts, and repetitions, recorded by level of education, age, and sex of studentsCalculation of gross and net enrollment rates (by grade and sex)Net enrollment ratio in primary education

Proportion of pupils starting grade 1 who reach last year of primary education

Ratio of girls to boys in primary, secondary, and tertiary education
Outcomes: Educational attainment measured by progress through school, graduations, and completions by level; literacy rates of adults and youthDisaggregation by age and sex; graduation and completion rates

Scores on standardized achievement exams
Literacy rate of 15–24–year-olds

Ratio of school attendance of orphans to school attendance of nonorphans ages 10–14 years
HealthInputs: Measures of current financial, human, and physical resources available to public and private (if significant) health system, including public expenditures on health services; capacity of health care facilities by location and type of facility, and the number of trained personnel by location and certificationPrivate (household) expenditures on health services; disaggregation of data by regionAnnual (outbreaks of contagious diseases should be reported at higher frequency and with greater timeliness)3–6 months following end of reference period
Process (service delivery):

Measures describing the number of clients served and type of care provided by public and private care providers, including inpatient, outpatient, and preventative care; population served by public health services such as immunizations, sanitation services, and improved water supply
Measures of the responsiveness of the health system to nonhealth aspects of service delivery; disaggregation of data by regionProportion of 1-year-old children immunized against measles

Proportion of births attended by skilled health personnel

Prenatal care coverage (at least one visit)

Condom use (at least high-risk sex)

Proportion of population ages 15–24 years with comprehensive knowledge of HIV/AIDS

Proportion of children under age five sleeping under insecticide-treated bed net

Proportion of children under age five who are treated with appropriate antimalarial drugs

Proportion of tuberculosis cases detected and cured under directly
observed treatment short course

Proportion of population with advanced HIV infection with access to antiretroviral drugs

Proportion of population using an improved water source, urban and rural

Proportion of population using an improved sanitation facility
Outcomes: Statistics on mortality and morbidity, including mortality by cause and the incidence of disease by age, sex, region, and other patient characteristicsMaternal mortality ratio

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Unmet need for family planning

Prevalence of underweight children under five years of age

Maternal mortality ratio

HIV prevalence among population 15–24 years

Prevalence and death rates associated with malaria

Incidence, prevalence, and death rates associated with tuberculosis
PovertyIncome poverty: Number and proportion of people or households with less than minimum standard of income or consumption;Measures of the distribution of household or per capita income or consumption, and incidence of low consumption; separate poverty estimatesProportion of population below $1 (PPP) per day

Poverty gap ratio (incidence x depth of poverty)
3–5 years6–12 months following the survey
valuation of minimum consumption bundlefor urban and rural populations or for major regions, states, or provincesShare of poorest quintile in national consumption
Other poverty measures: Measures of deprivation or insecurity used to identify the population living in poverty, such as evidence of malnutrition or undernourishment, endemic diseases, educational achievement, and lack of access to basic servicesDisaggregation of data by region or age and sex, where appropriatePrevalence of underweight children under five years of age

Proportion of population below minimum level of dietary energy consumption
Source: IMF Statistics Department.

    Other Resources Citing This Publication