This Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC) provides a review of Jordan’s data dissemination practices against the IMF’s General Data Dissemination System (GDDS), complemented by an in-depth assessment of quality of national accounts, consumer and producer price indices, and government finance, monetary, and balance-of-payments statistics. The assessment reveals that Jordan participates in the GDDS and meets the recommendations for the coverage, periodicity, and timeliness of most data categories. Jordan’s macroeconomic statistics also broadly meet the periodicity requirements of the SDDS.

Abstract

This Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC) provides a review of Jordan’s data dissemination practices against the IMF’s General Data Dissemination System (GDDS), complemented by an in-depth assessment of quality of national accounts, consumer and producer price indices, and government finance, monetary, and balance-of-payments statistics. The assessment reveals that Jordan participates in the GDDS and meets the recommendations for the coverage, periodicity, and timeliness of most data categories. Jordan’s macroeconomic statistics also broadly meet the periodicity requirements of the SDDS.

I. Introduction

1. The data module of this Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC) provides a summary assessment of practices on the coverage, periodicity, and timeliness of the data categories against the IMF’s General Data Dissemination System (GDDS).2 It is complemented by an assessment of the quality of national accounts, consumer and producer price indices, and government finance, monetary, and balance of payments statistics, using the Data Quality Assessment Framework (DQAF) developed by the IMF’s Statistics Department (STA). This report is based on public information, as well as information provided during a staff mission from January 23-February 6, 2002.3

2. Section II provides an overview of the GDDS and an assessment of Jordan’s data dissemination practices against the GDDS. At the request of the authorities, their current data dissemination practices were also reviewed against SDDS requirements, focusing on the coverage, periodicity, and timeliness prescriptions of the data dimension. Some significant issues that need attention prior to Jordan’s subscription to the SDDS are identified. Section III presents a summary assessment of the quality of the principal macroeconomic datasets, following the dataset-specific assessment frameworks. Finally, Section IV sets out recommendations for further improvements in Jordan’s macroeconomic statistics.

II. Data Dissemination Practices and the GDDS: Current Dissemination Practices

3. Jordan’s data dissemination practices are assessed against the GDDS. Where shortcomings are found, the focus is on the plans for improvements posted on the DSBB.

4. Metadata started to be posted on the DSBB in September 2000. Macroeconomic statistics in Jordan are mainly produced by three institutions: (i) the Department of Statistics (DOS) is responsible for the national accounts, prices, other economic statistics, and socio-demographic statistics; (ii) the Central Bank of Jordan (CBJ) is responsible for monetary and balance of payments statistics; and (iii) the Ministry of Finance (MOF) is responsible for statistics on central government operations.

5. Access to macroeconomic data and socio-demographic indicators is provided through several publications and at the following Internet websites:

Data Dimension: Coverage, Periodicity, and Timeliness

6. In general, Jordan meets the GDDS recommendations for the core comprehensive frameworks and recommended indicators. The most important exceptions are the coverage of (i) the balance of payments; and (ii) central government operations, which exclude data on social security funds and central government agencies with their own budgets.

7. With respect to periodicity and timeliness, most GDDS recommendations are met, with the exception of data on (i) wages/earnings; (ii) interest rates (government securities and policy variable); and (iii) international reserves. Data on wages/earnings are disseminated 18 months (vis-à-vis the recommended 12 months) after the end of the reference year, and international reserves and interest rates are disseminated with a six-week lag (against the recommended four weeks). Table 1 shows an overview of current practices regarding coverage, periodicity, and timeliness of data in Jordan compared to the GDDS.4

Table 1.

Jordan: Overview of Current Practices Regarding Coverage, Periodicity, and Timeliness of Data Compared to the General Data Dissemination System

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Italics indicate encouraged categories.

8. Concerning extensions encouraged by the GDDS, the exceptions to the recommended practices in terms of data coverage are (i) annual international investment position (compiled only on a partial basis through 2000 and not disseminated); (ii) reserve-related liabilities; and (iii) operations of the general government. With respect to periodicity and timeliness, other exceptions include the data on (i) gross national income, capital formation, and saving; and (ii)interest rates (deposit and lending).

Quality Dimension

9. The quality dimension of the GDDS is particularly important, given that the primary focus is on improvements in data quality over time. The assessment of quality is based on the dissemination of (i) documentation on methodology and data sources, and (ii) component detail and reconciliation with related data.

10. Summary documentation on the methodology for all macroeconomic statistics in Jordan is available on the DSBB. Summary methodologies are also published by all major data-producing institutions. However, detailed documentation on concepts and methods are not published, nor is the DSBB publicized in the websites of the institutions.

Integrity Dimension

11. The GDDS recommends the disclosure of the legal framework for the collection, compilation, and dissemination of data, including the confidentiality of the collected data.

12. The terms and conditions under which most official statistics are compiled and disseminated in Jordan provide a legal framework that supports the integrity of the statistical system, but this information is not sufficiently publicized. Procedures on the government’s internal access to the data prior to public release are not always disseminated on the DSBB.

Access Dimension

13. Dissemination of official statistics is an essential feature of statistics as a public good. Ready and equal access are principal requirements for the public, including market participants. The access dimension is based on two practices that facilitate ready and equal access to data: (i) dissemination of advance release calendars; and (ii) simultaneous release to all parties.

14. Advance release calendars are not provided to users, although the DOS follows internal fixed-term release schedules. Dissemination processes, whereby select government agencies obtain access to statistics prior to other users, are not made known to the public.

Plans for Improvement

15. Plans for improving data quality are an integral part of the GDDS. For the real sector statistics, focus is on the implementation of the 1993 System of National Accounts (1993 SNA). The DOS plans to improve estimates of GDP according to the expenditure approach and supply-use tables. For prices, plans are to reweigh the CPI when the results of the 2002 Household Expenditure and Income Survey (HEIS) become available. In the longer term, the DOS aims at allocating additional resources for research and investigations of all economic statistics, within the staff recruitment constraints. Plans are also underway to improve the timeliness of labor market indicators by disseminating the results of wage/earnings surveys within 6-9 months of the survey.

16. In the short-term, the MOF intends to establish a division, with adequate staff and technological resources, aimed primarily at compiling comprehensive government finance statistics (GFS). Other plans include expanding the coverage of annual GFS to at least all central government units: budgetary accounts, extrabudgetary funds (17 autonomous agencies), and social security funds (Social Security Corporation and Health Security Fund), and to publish details on financing data.

17. The CBJ should fully adopt the new Monetary and Financial Statistics Manual (MFSM) within the next 2-3 years, and will accelerate the dissemination of monetary and financial aggregates. Regarding the external sector, medium-term plans aim at compiling balance of payments and the international investment position on the basis of the fifth edition of the Balance of Payments Manual (BPM5). In the short-term, the aim is to significantly increase the resources for compiling external sector data.

18. Appendix I in the accompanying document presenting the detailed assessment gives more details on the plans for improvement of the CBJ, DOS, and MOF, as of February 2002.

Special Data Dissemination Standard

19. Since Jordan had expressed interest in subscribing to the Fund’s SDDS, the current practices were also reviewed against its requirements.5 The following points about the coverage, periodicity, and timeliness prescriptions of the data dimension highlight some significant issues to be addressed prior to Jordan’s subscription to the SDDS:

  • In the real sector, all data categories meet SDDS coverage and periodicity requirements, with the exception of wages/earnings (compiled only on an annual basis). With respect to timeliness, most data categories meet the requirements, with the exception of the dissemination of (i) PPI (5-6 week lag); (ii) production index (six-week lag); and (iii) wages/earnings (18-month lag).

  • In the fiscal sector, data on central government operations and debt basically meet SDDS requirements on periodicity and timeliness. In terms of coverage, however, the definition of central government excludes social security and government agencies with their own budgets—representing some 10 percent of the total operations of the central government. More importantly, the MOF does not compile data on the operations of the general government (central government plus local governments); local governments account for an estimated 5 percent of general government operations. To fulfill SDDS requirements, monthly central government financing data have to be disseminated within one month of the end of the reference period.

  • All data categories in the financial sector meet the SDDS coverage and periodicity prescriptions. However, in terms of timeliness, the analytical accounts of the central bank and the banking sector, as well as lending and deposit interest rates, are disseminated only with a six-week lag in the CBJ’s Monthly Statistical Bulletin (MSB) and website.

  • In the external sector, the balance of payments (BOP) meet the periodicity and timeliness requirements, but not the coverage prescribed by the SDDS, notably the investment income and the financial account. International reserves meet the periodicity, but not the prescribed timeliness and coverage. Trade data meet all the SDDS requirements. However, only partial annual data are available on the international investment position (IIP), and the template on international reserves and foreign currency liquidity is not compiled.

20. Appendix II in the accompanying document presents an overview of Jordan’s current practices regarding coverage, periodicity, and timeliness of data compared to the SDDS.

III. Summary Assessment of Data Quality

21. Interest in assessing the quality of data derives from the need to complement the GDDS with more accurate and reliable data to support the surveillance of countries’ economic and financial policies. Against this background, the IMF’s Statistics Department (STA) has developed a tool to provide a structure and a common language to assess data quality. The Data Quality Assessment Framework (DQAF) comprises a generic framework6 and a set of dataset-specific frameworks covering five dimensions of data quality—integrity, methodological soundness, accuracy and reliability, serviceability, and accessibility—and a set of prerequisites.7

22. An assessment of six macroeconomic datasets (national accounts, consumer price index, producer price index, and government finance, monetary, and the balance of payments statistics) was conducted, using the frame of reference provided by each dataset-specific DQAF. The application of this framework to the Jordanian statistical system is presented below, following the structure of the DQAF. Conclusions are presented in standardized summary tables that assess data practices on a qualitative basis, using a four-part scale (Text Table 2 in this report and Text Tables 1-6 in the accompanying document).

Table 2.

Data Quality Assessment Framework: Summary Presentation of Results for Jordan

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23. Jordan’s macroeconomic statistics and statistical base are considered broadly adequate by the IMF’s Middle Eastern Department (MED) for effective surveillance. Nevertheless, the mission identified shortcomings in some statistical practices that may detract from the accurate and timely analysis of economic and financial policies.

Prerequisites of Quality

The “Prerequisites of Quality” in the DQAF identifies conditions within the agency in charge of producing statistics that have an impact on data quality. The elements within the category refer to the legal and institutional environment, resources, and quality awareness.

24. The DOS has the mandate (under the General Statistics Act of 1950) to compile national accounts and prices. Data sharing and coordination among statistics-producing institutions is the legal responsibility of the DOS, with well-established coordination between the DOS and other institutions. The Act protects the data confidentiality of individual respondents and provides a legal mandate for reporting.

25. Staff resources are generally adequate for the compilation of the basic real sector statistics, but are not commensurate with the ambitious program for implementing the 1993 SNA, and research and investigation required for price statistics. Professional training in national accounts methodology is needed. While the retention of a core group of skilled experts has been difficult, the new Statistics Law should give the DOS greater flexibility to attract and retain qualified staff. Thus, the DOS initiatives in drafting a revised Statistics Act are strongly endorsed. Computing resources are commensurate with the needs of the real sector statistics, including a program for computer training. The financial resources assigned to the annual and quarterly national accounts aggregates are not adequate; due to budgetary constraints and cumbersome administrative procedures in the current law, some important basic economic statistics surveys (e.g., annual household expenditure and income survey and the survey of capital stock) have not been launched.

26. The DOS is sensitive to issues regarding the quality of statistics. The mission statement of the organization emphasizes quality and is disseminated on its website. There is no special body to provide guidance on quality, but user surveys are periodically conducted to obtain feedback on data quality issues. The DOS management is aware of tradeoffs between the dimensions of quality and, hence, regular meetings are held with policymakers.

27. Laws are in place for each unit of general government to compile data for budget management and reporting, but no formal responsibility has been assigned to any unit to compile government finance statistics (GFS) for the consolidated central or general government. Nevertheless, a GFS Committee in the MOF is responsible for compiling GFS covering the operations of the budgetary central government (representing some 90 percent of central government and about 85 percent of general government). Data sharing and coordination, as well as staff and technological resources, are adequate for existing GFS, but not for any expansion of coverage. The quality of the collection, processing, and dissemination of GFS is monitored through various processes. There are no specific arrangements to obtain feedback from users on data quality, but contacts are provided in the dissemination media to respond to queries. Tradeoffs between quality and timeliness are implicitly acknowledged through the dissemination of timely monthly data, but users are not informed of these considerations.

28. Statistics of the CBJ are governed by the Law No. 23 of 1971. Although the responsibility for processing and disseminating statistics is not explicitly specified, the CBJ has been compiling and disseminating monetary and BOP statistics since its establishment in 1964. However, the legal basis of the reporting of BOP data is weak, because mandatory reporting to the CBJ by entities other than banks is not specified. The CBJ Law stipulates the confidentiality and non-disclosure of data, with penalties for noncompliance.

29. The Research Department of the CBJ is responsible for developing statistical methodologies, and for compiling, processing, and disseminating monetary and BOP statistics. Staff and computing resources are adequate for compiling monetary statistics. However, for the external sector, resources are not sufficient for existing tasks, nor to improve methodological soundness and compile the international investment position.

30. Although managers and staff of the CBJ are aware of the importance of quality, no systematic procedures are in place to monitor the quality of monetary and BOP statistics.

Integrity

Integrity identifies features that support firm adherence to objectivity in the collection, compilation, and dissemination of statistics so as to maintain users’ confidence. Elements refer to the professionalism and ethical standards that should guide policies and practices, which should be reinforced by their transparency.

31. The General Statistics Act defines the role of the DOS as an independent data producing agency, supporting the compilation of national accounts and price statistics on an impartial basis. Choices of sources and methods are based solely on professional statistical considerations. However, dissemination processes, which lead to selected government agencies obtaining access to statistics prior to other users, are not made known to the public. Statistical outputs of the DOS are clearly identified as such, but advanced notice is not always given about major changes in national accounts methodology. Guidelines on ethical standards are made known to all DOS staff.

32. Although the impartial compilation and dissemination of GFS for analytical purposes by the MOF are not supported by specific laws, there is no evidence to the contrary. Staff are free from political, or other, influences in choosing the most appropriate sources and methods. However, the terms and conditions under which GFS are compiled and disseminated are not publicized. The Civil Servants Bylaw (No. 1 of 1998) provides ethical guidelines for MOF staff.

33. The CBJ is independent in the determination of its compilation methods and dissemination practices for monetary and BOP statistics. The professionalism of the CBJ staff is actively promoted by encouraging participation in seminars and training courses, as well as a code of conduct which provides ethical guidelines for its employees. Statistics are compiled on an impartial basis and staff are free to choose the most appropriate sources and statistical techniques. Although it is publicly known that the CBJ has assumed the responsibility for monetary and BOP statistics, the terms and conditions under which the data are compiled are not made known to the public. Major changes in methodology and sources are noted at the time the changes are introduced, without advance notice to users. The CBJ regularly monitor press coverage and provide clarifications in cases of erroneous interpretation of the data.

Methodological Soundness

Methodological soundness refers to the application of international standards, guidelines, and agreed practices. Application of such standards, which are specific to the dataset, is indicative of the soundness of the data and fosters international comparability. Elements refer to the basic building blocks of concepts and definitions, scope, classification and sectorization, and basis for recording.

34. National accounts are based on the 1993 SNA.8 The minimum requirements for the scope of the tables and accounts are generally met, except for annual GDP estimates by the expenditure approach in constant prices. Quarterly GDP estimates are compiled following the production approach, at current and constant prices. The delineation of the economy and the production and asset boundaries are mostly in accordance with the 1993 SNA. The classifications used conform to international standards. National accounts flows and stocks are valued at market prices, recording is done on an accrual basis, and transactions between establishments within the same enterprise are registered on a gross basis.

35. The CPI methodology is broadly consistent with international standards, covering price changes of goods and services of all resident households, although owner-occupied dwelling services are excluded. The weights are regularly updated according to a five-yearly Household Expenditure and Income Survey (HEIS). Activities are currently classified using the Central Product Classification (CPC), but with the introduction of new weights from the 2002 HEIS, the Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose (COICOP) will be introduced. Actual market transaction prices paid by householders (valued at purchasers’ prices) are used.

36. The PPI is compiled according to international standards. Its scope is sufficient in that it relates to the traditional industrial sector (manufacturing, mining and electricity); the weights, based on gross output data (at basic prices) from the periodic Census of Establishments and the five-yearly Census of Industry, are regularly revised. Market transaction prices including discounts, valued at basic prices are used. Production activity is classified according to the International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities (ISIC), Revision 3.

37. Concepts, definitions, and classifications used by the MOF for GFS are broadly in accordance with the GFS Manual 1986, but does not strictly follow the methodology of the GFS Manual 2001. The coverage is incomplete and does not meet international standards—only budgetary central government data are compiled. Deviations from the methodology relate to (i) the absence of a functional classification of expenditure, (ii) some minor misclassifications between tax and nontax revenues, (iii) a lack of detail on financing data, and (iv) the inclusion of government guaranteed debt—albeit not very significant—in the definition of outstanding government debt. In line with the GFS Manual 1986, data are compiled on a cash basis. In line with the GFS Manual 2001, interest and amortization on foreign loans are on a commitments basis, privatization proceeds are treated as financing, and data include grants in kind, as well as the equivalent disbursements thereof.

38. In general, the analytical framework for monetary statistics reflects concepts and definitions based on the IMF’s draft Guide to Money and Banking Statistics in International Financial Statistics of December 1984. The CBJ intends to strengthen the procedures and formats for collection, compilation, and dissemination of monetary statistics to comply with the methodology recommended in the Monetary and Financial Statistics Manual (MFSM). At present, financial derivatives, while only used by a few banks and in small amounts, are not included in the monetary accounts, and positions with nonfmancial private corporations are not separately identified.

39. BOP statistics follow, to a limited extent, the conceptual framework of the fourth edition of the IMF’s Balance of Payments Manual (BPM4). Adopting the recommendations in the fifth edition of the IMF’s Balance of Payments Manual (BPM5) has been limited, due to a substantial lack of resources. While the DQAF for BOP calls for the use of BPM5 as a general framework, the elements for methodological soundness were assessed against BPM4. The classification of transactions shows important deviations from those suggested in BPM4, including misclassification of current account components and the lack of details on the capital account. International transactions of households, individuals, corporations, and quasi-corporations are only partially recorded. Thus, the coverage of the data is deficient, especially for investment income and the financial account. Transactions are recorded at market prices and converted at the exchange rate at the time of the transaction. While government debt-related transactions are generally valued on an accrual basis (in accordance with BPM5), a large part of services, income, and capital account transactions are valued on a cash basis.

Accuracy and Reliability

Accuracy and reliability identifies features that contribute to the goal that data portray reality. Elements refer to identified features of the source data, statistical techniques, and supporting assessments and validation.

40. The DOS has a comprehensive annual survey program for collecting basic economic data for national accounts. A business register was created on the basis of the Census of Establishments in 1999. Annual business surveys are carried out for all economic activities, which are sufficiently detailed to derive all key national accounts aggregates. A Household Expenditure and Income Survey (HEIS) is conducted every five years. Comprehensive statistics are available on a quarterly and annual basis for the budgetary central government. The DOS also collects annual data on local governments and extrabudgetary funds. Industrial censuses are conducted every five years. Population and agricultural censuses are conducted every 10 years.

41. The compilation techniques for the production approach to GDP are generally sound. The estimates of output and intermediate consumption are compiled at a detailed level, using the double deflation and double indicator methods for almost all activities. Not all GDP estimates by expenditure components are derived independently, since household final consumption expenditure is determined as a residual. Volume measures of the expenditure components of GDP are not compiled. Annual national accounts do not include estimates on illegal activities; the DOS is following a case-by-case approach in estimating these and other non-observed economic activities.

42. The source data are regularly assessed and validated for consistency with national accounts requirements. Adjustments are made to central government and BOP data to be consistent with the 1993 SNA. Supply and use tables are not used to address discrepancies. A study of recent revisions in the methodology of national accounts was conducted. The magnitude of revisions between preliminary and revised GDP data are investigated, and analysis of the revisions is undertaken as part of the compilation process.

43. The CPI is compiled using generally sound source data and methodology. The weights and prices are obtained from a comprehensive data collection program. Weights are updated every five years, using the results of the latest HEIS. The current CPI uses weights from the 1997 HEIS (which was based on the 1968 SNA). The weights will be updated using the 2002 HEIS, which is based on the 1993 SNA, with a revised boundary of consumption. Prices are collected from a random sample of retail establishments, selected from a frame provided by the Census of Establishments, 1999, and are collected on a monthly basis, mainly by personal visits.

44. The PPI is derived from comprehensive data collection programs. It has updated weights, which are revised using gross output value data from the periodic Census of Establishments or the five-yearly Census of Industry. Prices are collected on a monthly basis from a random sample of establishments selected from the Census of Establishments. The CPI and PPI source data are routinely assessed and validated, along with intermediate data and statistical outputs. The current month’s CPI index numbers are final when first released, while the PPI numbers are designated as preliminary and subject to minor revisions in the following month’s release, due to the possible incorporation of late data. CPI and PPI index numbers are not revised, if they are made on the basis of weight updates.

45. For compiling GFS, timely and comprehensive monthly budgetary revenue and expenditure, as well as government debt data, are available from the budget management system in the MOF. Timely financing data are available on a quarterly basis. Timely and comprehensive source data are also available for annual GFS covering the consolidated central, or general government, but no such data are actually compiled. For GFS covering the budgetary central government, a statistical discrepancy exists between the quarterly (cash) overall deficit/surplus and the financing data, and special efforts are made to minimize the discrepancy. Normally, GFS are revised only when preliminary annual data are replaced by actual, audited data (about seven months after the end of the fiscal year). No formal studies are made of such revisions.

46. Source data for monetary and financial statistics (MFS) are derived from accounting records of the CBJ and licensed banks, and are based on detailed reporting by deposit-taking financial institutions. In principle, the source data capture the full range of financial instruments and economic sectors. The system allows timely compilation of MFS. The Banking Supervision Department electronically processes and validates source data. However, the Research Department still compiles MFS manually. Data revisions are infrequent and are made only when needed, based on the availability of more accurate data. Results of revision studies and analyses are not publicized.

47. While BOP data are reasonably timely, the collection system is not comprehensive, and most deficiencies in coverage and classification, reflecting gaps in data sources. Given current resource constraints, procedures to improve the coverage, classification, and valuation of source data have been limited. In addition to revising the International Transactions Reporting System (ITRS) and current surveys, source data should be enhanced by introducing new surveys to capture mainly financial account transactions and additional international services. Data adjustments, minimization of processing errors, and validation of source, intermediate, and output data have been limited, and do not include systematic procedures. Revision studies are conducted only when methodological changes are introduced. Also, studies on fluctuations in the data, including the source of errors and omissions, are not routinely carried out.

Serviceability

Serviceability focuses on practical aspects of how well a dataset meets users’ needs. Elements refer to the extent to which data are relevant, produced and disseminated in a timely fashion with appropriate periodicity, are consistent internally and with other datasets, and follow a predictable revisions policy.

48. In general, the DOS assesses whether economic statistics respond adequately to government’s needs, but there is no advisory group to systematically assess the relevance of data. Periodicity and timeliness of the annual GDP estimates meet GDDS recommendations. The DOS also compiles quarterly GDP estimates that meet SDDS requirements for timeliness and periodicity. Consistent time series data are available, without breaks, for a period of at least eight years. The national accounts are internally consistent and are reconciled with the BOP and GFS on a regular basis. The revision practice is consistent from year-to-year, but the revisions policy is not announced to the public.

49. There is no specific consultation with users of the CPI or PPI, which are both published monthly. The CPI is released within a week of the end of the reference month, and the PPI within six weeks, thus meeting GDDS periodicity and timeliness recommendations. Both the CPI and PPI are internally consistent and compatible. Under well-established policies known to the public, the CPI index numbers are final at the time of first release, while the current month’s PPI index numbers are clearly identified as preliminary, and may be subject to minor revisions. Any PPI revisions result from the incorporation of late data. Weights and price samples for both the CPI and PPI are regularly updated, but the historical index number series are not adjusted.

50. Despite incomplete data coverage and some classification deficiencies, GFS are considered broadly adequate for fiscal analysis by the IMF’s Middle Eastern Department. Regular and formal feedback from users on the adequacy of GFS is not sought. GFS are produced with a timeliness and periodicity that meet, or exceed, GDDS recommendations. There are no formal processes to reconcile GFS with either monetary, BOP, or national accounts data. Major deviations between preliminary and final data are explained in all dissemination media, but revisions to monthly data are not made known to the public, since only the latest month’s data are published in the Bulletin.

51. Monthly MFS of the central bank and the licensed banks are disseminated within six weeks of the reference period, consistent with GDDS recommendations. The positions between the CBJ and the licensed banks show small discrepancies, mainly due to differences in the time of recording of transactions. Flow data are not compiled. Changes in methodology affecting time series are explained in notes/footnotes to the tables in the CBJ’s Monthly Statistical Bulletin (MSB). Consistency checks between GFS and MFS are not conducted. Users are not informed that the CBJ has no formal revision policy for monetary statistics. The CBJ consults with banks and ministries, but does not have an established process for consultation with user advisory groups.

52. Jordan disseminates quarterly and annual BOP statistics, thereby exceeding the GDDS recommended periodicity (annual), with timeliness that meets SDDS requirements. Monthly merchandise trade data meet the GDDS timeliness and periodicity. There is no established process of consultation with user groups. In principle, BOP statistics are consistent with trade data, MFS, and GFS. Revisions are made only when needed and are announced to the public, with limited detail, in the CBJ’s publications and website.

Accessibility

Accessibility deals with the availability of information to users. Elements refer to the extent to which data and metadata are clear and readily available and to which assistance to the user is adequate to help them find and utilize the data.

53. Dissemination formats for annual national accounts are generally adequate, but are published at a very aggregated level. Data are released according to well established practice, and simultaneously to all users. A comprehensive description of national accounts methodology is available internally and a short summary is disseminated on the DOS website. A list of publications, as well as contact information, is provided in the DOS catalog and website, which also contains information on the cost of the publications and on how the publications may be obtained.

54. The monthly CPI and PPI are released initially through a short press release and subsequently on the website and in the CBJ’s MSB. The DOS does not provide analysis, commentary, or charts to supplement the data. There is no pre-announced schedule for release, nor are data simultaneously released to all users because the absence of a strict embargo. More detailed unpublished data are available on request, but their availability is not publicized. Metadata on concepts and methods are available, but are not published or publicized. A good support service is available to users.

55. GFS are available in a variety of dissemination formats. Since 1999, the MOF has been publishing GFS in their monthly Government Finance Bulletin (GFB) and website, in both Arabic and English. The same data are also published in the CBJ’s MSB, and a link to the MOF website also appears on the National Information System9 website. GFS are made available to all users simultaneously, and without preferential treatment. There is no pre-announced schedule for the release of GFS. Detailed documentation of concepts, scope, classifications, basis of recording, data sources, and statistical techniques do not exist. Information in this regard are only available—in summary format—on the DSBB. A few definitions of the main aggregates and balancing items are given in the GFB and the MSB. Contact details for inquiries are adequately publicized in all dissemination formats.

56. Monetary and financial statistics are disseminated in the CBJ’s MSB and website. Publications, documents, and other services are free of charge. All data disseminated by the CBJ are simultaneously released to the public in the MSB and website. The dissemination of MFS and the related service and support appear to meet, in general terms, users’ needs. Methodological notes are disseminated in the MSB and website and, if supplemented with the metadata posted on the DSBB, provide detailed information on statistical concepts and techniques. The consolidated balance sheet of the CBJ, as currently disseminated, provides no guidance for users regarding Jordan’s position with the IMF.

57. BOP statistics are released simultaneously to all interested parties in the MSB and website, without a publication schedule Shortcomings in the classification and sectorization of the accounts hinder sound economic analysis. Analyses of developments are included in the Annual Report, but not in the MSB or website. A detailed description of the methodology is posted on the DSBB and published in the Balance of Payments Statistics Yearbook. However, the MSB and website do not disseminate a comprehensive description of the methodology. A contact reference is identified in the MSB and website. Assistance to users of statistics is available upon request, but is not publicized.

IV. Staff Recommendations

58. Based on the results of the data quality assessment, discussions with the Jordanian authorities in the respective statistics-compiling institutions, and responses from data users, the measures below are proposed to further enhance Jordan’s adherence to international statistical standards. Recommendations are subdivided into “High priority” and “Other key recommendations”. While all the high priority actions listed below should be treated as such, those regarding balance of payments statistics need to be addressed with the greatest urgency.

General Recommendations

High priority

  • Update and enhance regularly the GDDS metadata posted on the DSBB for all sectors.

  • Pursue initiatives to revise the General Statistics Act with a view to strengthening the data-producing functions of all institutions.

  • Undertake a complete review of data dissemination policies in consultation with users, addressing at least the following: (i) the presentation of statistical information (tables, text, charts, etc.); (ii) analysis of statistics (main features, commentary); (iii) advanced release calendars; (iv) strict and unambiguous embargo arrangements, including any pre-releases; and (v) publicizing the availability of detailed unpublished statistics and metadata.

  • Strengthen coordination among institutions to enhance inter-sectoral consistency of data.

  • Make the revisions policy of all institutions known to the public.

National Accounts

High priority

  • Enhance the accessibility of national accounts data (i.e., publish annual and quarterly national accounts data with detailed metadata on sources and methods).

Other key recommendations

  • Improve the scope of the national accounts statistics to cover the ISWGNA minimum requirements, as well as the recommended accounts and aggregates.

  • Strengthen the statistical techniques used in the compilation of national accounts estimates, for example, by reconciling the production and expenditure GDP estimates.

  • Expand the work program for implementing 1993 SNA to include the development of financial accounts and balance sheets.

Consumer and Producer Price Indices

High priority

  • Proceed with plans to reweigh the CPI when the results of the 2002 HEIS become available.

  • Implement plans to bring the conceptual basis of the CPI in line with the 1993 SNA.

  • Investigate the inclusion of owner-occupied dwelling services in the CPI at the time of the next reweigh.

Other key recommendations

  • Proceed with plans to extend the coverage of the PPI to include agriculture and construction and, ideally, major business services.

  • Investigate user demand for the PPI.

Government Finance Statistics

High priority

  • Establish a division in the MOF, with sufficient staff and technological resources, with the primary responsibility for compiling comprehensive GFS.

  • Expand the coverage of annual GFS to include at least all units of central government; adding annual local governments’ data to compile GFS for all general government units is strongly encouraged.

  • Publish details of quarterly and annual domestic and foreign financing data.

  • Develop a medium-term plan for migration to, at least, the classification system recommended in the GFS Manual 2001.

Other key recommendations

  • Publish details of government guaranteed debt separately from outstanding debt.

  • Improve classification of revenue and expenditure according to GFS methodology.

  • Disseminate annual expenditure data classified by the functions of government.

  • Develop and disseminate detailed technical descriptions of concepts, sources, and methodology sufficient to allow expert users to assess GFS.

Monetary and Financial Statistics

Other key recommendations

  • Publish additional information on Jordan’s financial relationship with the IMF.

  • Convene periodical meetings with users to identify emerging data requirements.

  • Establish a regular mechanism to verify the consistency between MFS and GFS.

  • Adopt sectorization, classification, and accounting conventions included in the MFSM.

  • Disseminate information on the terms and conditions under which monetary statistics are collected, compiled, and disseminated on the CBJ’s website.

  • Identify a contact person in publications and on the CBJ’s website.

  • Inform users of monetary statistics in advance of major changes in methodology, source data, and statistical techniques.

Balance of Payments Statistics

High Priority

  • Increase staff, financial, and computing resources to improve performance of existing tasks and support plans to adopt BPM5.

  • Create a committee to develop and monitor a medium-term plan to compile balance of payments and international investment position statistics based on BPM5.

  • Expand data sources to improve the classification of accounts, in particular:

    • Review the ITRS forms to ensure that the recording of transactions reflect the classification and sectorization used in BPM5.

    • Develop a plan for reviewing existing surveys, and introducing new surveys to capture data on financial account transactions and stocks, services, workers’ remittances, and compensation of employees.

    • Request additional data from the Customs Department to record goods according to the breakdown recommended in BPM5.

1

With the assistance of the authorities, an informal survey was conducted among academics, media, business associations, banks, and public sector agencies. The results of the survey are presented in Appendix VII of the accompanying document presenting the detailed assessment.

2

A detailed description of the GDDS may be found on the IMF’s Data Standards Bulletin Board (DSBB) on the Internet at http://www.dsbb.imf.org.

3

The mission team was headed by Mr. Edgar Ayales and included Mmes. Elizabeth Summar and Maria Mantcheva, Messrs. Tobias Wickens and Rainer Koehler (all STA), Mr. David Collins (External consultant), and Ms. Lidia Tokuda (STA—Administrative Assistant).

4

Appendix I in the accompanying document presenting the detailed assessment provides more details.

5

A detailed description of the SDDS can be found on the IMF’s Data Standards Bulletin Board (DSBB) on the Internet at http://www.dsbb.imf.org.

6

Information on data quality may be found in the “Data Quality Reference Site” on the IMF’s Data Standards Bulletin Board (DSBB) website (http://dsbb.imf.org/dqrs.index.htm).

7

The Generic Framework is shown in Appendix IV of the accompanying document.

8

During the past three years, Jordan has received substantial technical assistance from the IMF in national accounts and price statistics and has made significant progress in the transition from the 1968 SNA to the 1993 SNA methodology.

9

Appendix VI of the accompanying document presents a brief description of Jordan’s National Information System.