Front Matter

Front Matter

Sage De Clerck, and Tobias Wickens
Published Date:
March 2015
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© 2014 International Monetary Fund

Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Joint Bank-Fund Library

Government finance statistics manual 2014. – Washington, D.C. : International Monetary Fund, 2014.

  • pages; cm.

  • Includes bibliographical references and index.

  • ISBN: 978-1-49834-376-3

1. Finance, Public – Statistics – Handbooks, manuals, etc. I. International Monetary Fund.

HJ131.M26 2014

  • ISBN: 978-1-49834-376-3 (paper)

  • 978-1-49837-921-2 (ePub)

  • 978-1-49836-697-7 (Mobi pocket)

  • 978-1-49837-916-8 (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.

Please send orders to:

International Monetary Fund, Publication Services

P.O. Box 92780, Washington, DC 20090, U.S.A.

Tel.: (202) 623-7430 Fax: (202) 623-7201





The international financial crisis in recent years, and the associated large fiscal deficits and rising debt levels in many countries, underscored the importance of reliable and timely statistics on the general government and public sectors. These events have shown the importance of internationally comparable data that allow detecting sources of vulnerability early and taking timely corrective measures.

One focus of the IMF’s work is on increasing the availability of key economic indicators. The IMF undertakes a range of activities for this purpose, including the IMF Statistics Department’s work to prepare manuals describing methodologies that should be used to compile economic and financial statistics. In this regard, I am pleased to introduce the third edition of the Government Finance Statistics Manual. This manual takes its place alongside the other manuals prepared by the Statistics Department, including the Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual, the Monetary and Financial Statistics Manual, Public Sector Debt Statistics: Guide for Compilers and Users, and the Quarterly National Accounts Manual. Like the other manuals, this manual is harmonized with the System of National Accounts 2008.

This manual represents a major step forward in clarifying the standards for compiling and presenting fiscal statistics and strengthens the worldwide effort to improve public sector reporting and transparency. Government finance statistics are a basis for fiscal analysis, and they play a vital role in developing and monitoring sound fiscal programs and in conducting surveillance of economic policies. The Executive Board of the IMF approved the use of the government finance statistics framework as the standard for presenting the Fund’s fiscal data. I therefore urge member countries to adopt the guidelines of the manual as the basis for compiling and disseminating government finance statistics, and for reporting this information to the Fund.

This manual has been prepared by the Statistics Department in close consultation with the Government Finance Statistics Advisory Committee, established to provide expert opinions from a broad range of countries and international organizations. The changes to the manual and revised text were posted on the website of the IMF for worldwide comments from compilers and users. The process underlying the revision of the manual demonstrates the spirit of international collaboration and cooperation. I would like to thank all of the experts involved for their invaluable assistance and for their collaborative and cooperative spirit.

Christine Lagarde

Managing Director

International Monetary Fund


The Government Finance Statistics Manual 2014 (GFSM 2014) is part of a series of international guidelines on statistical methodologies that have been issued by the International Monetary Fund. The Manual updates the Government Finance Statistics Manual 2001, and is the third edition of guidelines that describe a specialized macroeconomic statistical framework, the government finance statistics (GFS) framework, designed to support fiscal analysis. The Manual was produced by the IMF’s Statistics Department in fulfillment of its mission to provide strong leadership for the development and application of sound statistical practices, and is published in service of the worldwide trend toward greater accountability and fiscal transparency.

The Manual is designed for use by compilers of GFS, fiscal analysts, and other users of fiscal data. It may also be informative to compilers and users of other macroeconomic statistics in understanding the relations between the various sets of macroeconomic statistics, in particular, to compilers of the national accounts who may depend on GFS as an input to their work. The guidelines also explain the relationship of GFS with internationally accepted accounting standards and may therefore be useful for those involved in reforming government accounting systems. The Manual is focused, however, on conceptual descriptions of definitions, classifications, and conceptual guidelines for compiling and disseminating GFS, and, as such, it does not describe the methods to be used to compile the statistics.

The GFSM 2014 is supplemented by practical guidance on the compilation of the statistics provided in Government Finance Statistics: Compilation Guide for Developing Countries 2011 and Quarterly Government Finance Statistics: Guide for Compilers and Users, as well as through technical assistance and training work with individual countries. However, the text of these practical guidelines is not intended to take precedence over the methodological guidance provided in the Manual. In addition to this English language version, the Manual will be published in Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish.

Fiscal analysis continues to evolve in response to the growing complexity of formulating and evaluating fiscal policies. In particular, globalization increases demands for internationally comparable data, while concerns about the sustain-ability of fiscal policies increase demands for information on the balance sheets of government and the broader public sector. Moreover, because of the demand for cross-sectoral consistency in macroeconomic data, the concepts and principles set out in the Manual are harmonized with those of the System of National Accounts 2008 (2008 SNA) and the sixth edition of the Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual (BPM6). For consistent guidance on debt-related issues, the GFSM 2014 is also supplemented with the Public Sector Debt Statistics: A Guide for Compilers and Users (PSDS Guide) and the External Debt Statistics: Guide for Compilers and Users 2013 (2013 EDS Guide).

The GFSM 2014 recommends disseminating fully integrated flows and stock positions, recorded on an accrual basis, while maintaining cash-flow data to allow an assessment of the liquidity constraints of government. It is recognized that the implementation of the fully integrated system described in the Manual will take some time and will need to progress at a pace determined by the differing needs and circumstances of the country involved. In particular, many countries will need to revise their underlying accounting systems to reflect the accrual basis of recording and revised classifications.


The preparation of GFSM 2014 was a complex endeavor involving a number of people with different skills who were able to build on each other’s work over an extended period. The Manual was produced under the direction of two directors of the Statistics Department: Ms. Adelheid Burgi-Schmelz (2009–2012) and Mr. Louis Marc Ducharme (2013–).

The work was supervised by Mr. Robert Heath (Deputy Director), Ms. Claudia Dziobek (Chief, Government Finance Division), and Mr. Robert Dippelsman (former Deputy Chief, Government Finance Division), all from the Statistics Department. Ms. Sagé De Clerck (Senior Economist, Government Finance Division, Statistics Department) was the primary drafter and also coordinated and edited contributions to the Manual. Many staff in the Government Finance Division contributed to the project, in particular, Mmes. Majdeline El-Rayess, Viera Karolova, Phebby Kufa, and Kara Rideout, and Messrs. Miguel Alves, Alberto Jiménez de Lucio, Gary Jones, Mike Seiferling, Philip Stokoe, Deon Tanzer, and Tobias (Murto) Wickens. Contributions were also made by former staff members and experts in GFS including Mmes. Brigitte Batschi, Paola De Rita, Irina Dubinina, and Betty Gruber, and Messrs. Ismael Ahamdanech-Zarco, Johann Bjorgvinsson, Paul Cotterell, Jean-Pierre Dupuis, Cor Gorter, Carlos Gutierrez, Héctor Hernández, Ciaran Judge, Leonard Haakman, Brooks Robinson, and Vincent Marie. Mmes. Katy Hurston and Sheridan Parsonson supported the preparation of discussion papers and prepared drafts for publication. Current and former staff from other divisions of the Statistics Department also contributed to the project, including the Balance of Payments Division (Ms. Rita Mesias and Mr. Marcelo Dinenzon); Financial Institutions Division (Messrs. Jose Cartas, Thomas Elkjaer, and Richard Walton); and Real Sector Division (Messrs. Manik Shrestha and Daniel Smith).

Current and former staff from other departments of the IMF also contributed to the Manual. In particular, collaboration between the IMF’s Statistics and Fiscal Affairs Departments is acknowledged. Contributors from the Fiscal Affairs Department included Mmes. Adrienne Cheasty, Chita Marzan, Delphine Moretti, Isabel Rial, and Christine Richmond, and Messrs. Sanjeev Gupta, Richard Hughes, Tim Irwin, Kris Kaufman, Abdul Khan, Geremia Palomba, and Shamsuddin Tareq. Contributors from the Finance Department included Mmes. Sheila Basset, Elena Budras, Mary Hoare, and Jane Mburu, and Messrs. Preet Bhullar, Claudio De Luca, Carlos Janada, and Barry Yuen. A contribution was also received from the Research Department (Mr. Manmohan Singh).

Government Finance Statistics Advisory Committee

The GFSM 2014 greatly benefited from meetings of the Government Finance Statistics Advisory Committee that were convened in February 2011 and May 2012. The GFSM 2014 benefited from the discussions, written contributions, and comments of members of the committee and the organizations they represented.

Country Members
AustraliaMichael Davies, Australian Bureau of Statistics
BrazilFelipe Bardella, Ministry of Finance
Fabiana Magalhães Almeida Rodopoulos, Ministry of Finance
CanadaKara Rideout, Statistics Canada
ChileHéctor Hernández, Ministry of Finance
Côte d’IvoireNicolas Kacou, Ministry of Finance
DenmarkSøren Brodersen, Statistics Denmark
GeorgiaPridon Aslanikashvili, Ministry of Finance
GhanaNelly Mireku, Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning
JapanHidehiko Futamura, Cabinet Office
Kosuke Suzuki, Cabinet Office
PhilippinesTeresa Habitan, Department of Finance
QatarRifaat Basanti, Ministry of Economy and Finance
South AfricaMichael Adams, South African Reserve Bank
SwitzerlandAndré Schwaller
United KingdomPhilip Stokoe, Office for National Statistics
United StatesPamela Kelly, Bureau of Economic Analysis
Representatives of International Organizations
Commonwealth Secretariat of the UKArindam Roy
European Central BankJulia Catz
Reimund Mink
Gabriel Quiros
Hans Olsson
EurostatLuca Ascoli
Denis Besnard
Francois Lequiller
Alexandre Makaronidis
Lena Frej Ohlsson
John Verrinder
International Public Sector Accounting Standards BoardAndreas Bergmann
Ian Carruthers
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and DevelopmentNadim Ahmad
Maurice Nettley
United Nations Conference on Trade and DevelopmentBalliram Baball
United Nations Statistical DivisionBenson Sim
West African Economic and Monetary UnionMohamed Dhehby
World BankShaida Badiee
Neil Fantom
Ibrahim Levent
Evis Rucaj

An earlier draft of the GFSM 2014 was circulated for worldwide comments and the final text benefited from the comments received from experts in member countries and other international organizations. The IMF Statistics Department gratefully acknowledges the important contribution by comments received in the process of finalizing the GFSM 2014.

Louis Marc Ducharme


Statistics Department

International Monetary Fund

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