Front Matter

Front Matter

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
Published Date:
December 2013
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GUIDE FOR PARTICIPANTS AND USERS

THE GENERAL DATA DISSEMINATION SYSTEM

©2013 International Monetary Fund

Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Joint Bank-Fund Library

The General Data Dissemination System: guide for participants and users. – Washington, D.C.: International Monetary Fund, 2013.

  • p.; cm.

ISBN 978-1-47556-764-9

1. International Monetary Fund – Handbooks, manuals, etc. 2. Disclosure of information - Handbooks, manuals, etc. 3. Economics – Information services. 4. Finance – Information services. I. International Monetary Fund.

HG3881.5.I58 G464 2013

ISBN: 978-1-47556-764-9 (paper)

978-1-48436-388-1 (ePub)

978-1-48439-856-2 (Mobi pocket)

978-1-48433-871-1 (web PDF)

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this book are those of the authors and should not be reported as or attributed to the International Monetary Fund, its Executive Board, or the governments of any of its member countries.

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Contents

Foreword

The purpose of this Guide is to explain the nature and objectives of the General Data Dissemination System (GDDS), to describe its operation, and to provide practical guidance to International Monetary Fund (IMF) member countries on participation in the system. The GDDS provides members with a basic framework for a broader national statistical development strategy. It covers a set of statistics recognized to be essential for all countries for policy making and analysis in an environment that increasingly requires relevant, comprehensive, accurate, and timely statistics available to the general public. The GDDS addresses the full range of issues critical for compiling and disseminating data and making explicit plans for improvement to align national procedures with best practices.

This version of the Guide supersedes the version of June 2007. It takes on board the decisions made by the IMF’s Executive Board at the time of the Seventh Review of the Fund’s Data Standards Initiatives in December 2008 to align the GDDS and Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS) data categories. At that time, the Executive Board also decided to further enhance the GDDS to focus more on data dissemination, both to provide immediate benefit to a country’s policy makers and to facilitate a country’s graduation to the SDDS. In February 2012, at the time of the Eighth Review of the Fund’s Data Standards Initiatives, the Executive Board decided to leverage the plans for improvement by focusing further and prioritizing the delivery of technical assistance in statistics. The Guide is expected to continue to be updated as the GDDS evolves.

Since establishing the GDDS in December 1997, the IMF’s Statistics Department has worked closely with member countries and with other international organizations on the GDDS. For participating member countries, the GDDS has provided a management tool and a framework to foster sound statistical methodology, professional data compilation, and data dissemination. The IMF has worked to further develop and implement the GDDS guidelines with other international organizations, such as the World Bank, and with the participating countries. In this regard, it is important to highlight the valuable contribution of the World Bank in articulating the sociodemographic component of the GDDS.

Although more emphasis is placed on data dissemination, the main purpose of the GDDS remains to assist member countries to develop their statistical systems and to guide countries that wish to move toward subscribing to the SDDS. The GDDS supports the data-producing agencies to take control of their statistical development programs in a structured manner and to coordinate effectively among producing agencies, users, and the international community. The IMF supports these efforts by providing technical assistance and by catalyzing support from other sources.

As the GDDS continues to change, this Guide is especially important for countries that are already participating. Participating countries should update and revise their metadata to describe how their data compilation and dissemination activities are evolving toward best statistical practices.

Member countries that are interested in participating in the GDDS and those actively involved in preparing for participation are urged to consult the GDDS section of the IMF’s Dissemination Standards Bulletin Board (DSBB) on the Internet at: http://dsbb.imf.org/gddsindex.htm. The site contains an extensive body of information on the statistical practices and statistical development plans of countries that participate in the GDDS.

The GDDS Guide was prepared by the staff of the Data Dissemination and Review Division of the IMF’s Statistics Department, under the general direction of the division chief.

Louis Marc Ducharme

Director

Statistics Department

International Monetary Fund

Preface

The IMF launched the Data Standards Initiatives to enhance member countries’ data transparency and to promote their development of sound statistical systems. The need for data standards was highlighted by the financial crises of the mid-1990s, in which information deficiencies were seen to play a role. Under the Data Standards Initiatives, the IMF established the SDDS in 1996 to provide guidance to countries that have or seek access to capital markets to disseminate key data so that users in general, and financial market participants in particular, have adequate information to assess the economic situations of individual countries. In 1997, the IMF introduced the GDDS to provide a framework for countries that aim to develop their statistical systems, within which they can work toward disseminating comprehensive and reliable data that, among other things, meet SDDS requirements. In late 2012, the IMF established a third tier of the data standards initiatives with the creation of the SDDS Plus, which builds on the SDDS to guide member countries on the provision of economic and financial data to the public in support of domestic and international financial stability.

As part of the Data Standards Initiatives, and in support of ready access by the public to information on countries’ dissemination practices, the IMF established an electronic bulletin board, called the Dissemination Standards Bulletin Board (DSBB), on the IMF website (http://dsbb.imf.org). The DSBB posts information that GDDS countries make available to the IMF on their statistical practices and offers direct links to the economic, financial, and sociodemographic data that countries disseminate on their websites. The DSBB also displays information that SDDS subscribers provide to the IMF on their dissemination practices and offers direct links to the economic and financial data that countries disseminate under the SDDS.

Member countries’ subscription to the SDDS, participation in the GDDS, or adherence to the SDDS Plus is voluntary. Countries subscribing to the SDDS or adhering to the SDDS Plus must observe certain good dissemination practices, however, and the IMF monitors such observance. Those participating in the GDDS also have to develop plans to improve their statistics.

Empirical studies suggest that subscription to the SDDS or participation in the GDDS, to varying extents, can help reduce borrowing costs in international capital markets. A number of GDDS countries have graduated to become SDDS subscribers using the GDDS process as a stepping stone. In addition, enhanced data transparency and data quality in member countries have been important to the IMF’s work on surveillance and crisis prevention.

Abbreviations

ARC

Advance release calendar

BIS

Bank for International Settlements

BPM5

Balance of Payments Manual, fifth edition

BPM6

Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual, sixth edition

CBS

Central bank survey

CGD

Central government debt

CGO

Central government operations

CPI

Consumer Price Index

DCS

Depository corporations survey

DQAF

Data Quality Assessment Framework

DSBB

Dissemination Standards Bulletin Board

ECOSOC

UN Economic and Social Council

ESA 1995

European System of Accounts 1995

GDDS

General Data Dissemination System

GFS

Government finance statistics

GFSM 1986

A Manual on Government Finance Statistics 1986

GFSM 2001

Government Finance Statistics Manual 2001

GGO

General government operations

IIP

International investment position

ILO

International Labour Organization

IMF (or Fund)

International Monetary Fund

ISIC

International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities (UN)

MDGs

Millennium Development Goals

MFSCG

Monetary and Financial Statistics Compilation Guide

MFSM

Monetary and Financial Statistics Manual

NPISHs

Nonprofit institutions serving households

NSDP

National Summary Data Page

ODA

Official development assistance

OECD

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development

OECD/DAC

OECD/Development Assistance Committee

PPI

Producer Price Index

PPP

Purchasing Power Parity

PRSPs

Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers

PSO

Public sector operations

SDDS

Special Data Dissemination Standard

SDDS Plus

Special Data Dissemination Standard Plus

1993 SNA

System of National Accounts 1993

2008 SNA

System of National Accounts 2008

UN

United Nations

UNCTAD

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

UNESCO

United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization

UNSD

United Nations Statistics Division

WHO

World Health Organization

WPI

Wholesale price index

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