Front Matter

Front Matter Page

© 2002 International Monetary Fund

October 2002

IMF Country Report No. 02/234

Italy: Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes—Data Module, Response by the Authorities, and Detailed Assessments Using the Data Quality Assessment Framework

This Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes on Data Module for Italy was prepared by a staff team of the International Monetary Fund as background documentation for the periodic consultation with the member country. It is based on the information available at the time it was completed on October 18, 2002. The views expressed in this document are those of the staff team and do not necessarily reflect the views of the government of Italy or the Executive Board of the IMF.

  • The Response by the Authorities on this report, and the Detailed Assessment Using the Data Quality Assessment Framework (DQAF) are also included.

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Front Matter Page

INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND

ITALY

Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC)—Data Module

Prepared by the Statistics Department

Approved by Carol S. Carson and Michael C. Deppler

October 18, 2002

Contents

  • Executive Summary

  • I. Introduction

  • II. Data Dissemination Practices and the Special Data Dissemination Standard

    • Data dimension: coverage, periodicity, and timeliness

    • Access dimension

    • Integrity dimension

    • Quality dimension

    • Monitoring of data

  • III. Summary Assessment of Data Quality

    • Prerequisites of quality

    • Integrity

    • Methodological soundness

    • Accuracy and reliability

    • Serviceability

    • Accessibility

  • IV. Staff’s Recommendations

    • Cross-cutting Recommendations

    • National Accounts

    • Consumer Price Index

    • Producer Price Index

    • Government Finance Statistics

    • Monetary Statistics

    • Balance of Payments Statistics

  • Text Tables

  • Table 1. Italy: Overview of Current Practices regarding Coverage, Periodicity, and Timeliness of Data Compared to the SDDS

  • Table 2. Italy—Data Quality Assessment Framework: Summary Presentation of Results

Acronyms

1993 SNA

System of National Accounts 1993

ASIA

Statistical Register of Active Enterprises

ATECO

Attività economica (the Italian classification of economic activity)

BI

Bank of Italy

BPM5

Balance of Payments Manual, fifth edition

CPI

Consumer Price Index

COFOG

Classification of Functions of Government

COICOP

Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose

DQAF

Data Quality Assessment Framework

DSBB

Dissemination Standards Bulletin Board

ECB

European Central Bank

EMU

Economic and Monetary Union

ESA 95

European System of Accounts 1995

ESCB

European System of Central Banks

EU

European Union

Eurostat

Statistical Office of the European Communities

GDP

Gross Domestic Product

GNP

Gross National Product

GFSM 2001

Government Finance Statistics Manual, 2001

HICP

Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices

HBS

Household Budget Survey

ILO

International Labor Organization

IMF

International Monetary Fund

ISIC

International Standard Industrial Classification of all Economic Activities

Istat

National Institute of Statistics

LFS

Labor Force Survey

MFI

Monetary Financial Institution

MFSM

Monetary and Financial Statistics Manual

MEF

Ministry of Economy and Finance

NACE

Standard Classification of Economic Activities within the European Communities

ODC

Other Depository Corporation

OECD

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development

PPI

Producer Price Index

PRODCOM

List of Products of the European Communities

ROSC

Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes

SDDS

Special Data Dissemination Standard

SISC

Credit System Information Service

SISTAN

National Statistical System

SITC

Standard International Trade Classification

UIC

Italian Foreign Exchange Office

Executive Summary

This Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC) data module provides a review of Italy’s data dissemination practices against the IMF’s Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS), complemented by the in-depth assessment of the quality of the national accounts, consumer price index, producer price index, government finance, monetary, and balance of payments statistics. The agencies that compile the statistics assessed in this report, working within the context of Italy’s memberships in the European institutions, are the National Institute of Statistics (Istat), the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF), the Bank of Italy (BI), and the Italian Foreign Exchange Office (UIC). The assessment was carried out by a mission from the IMF Statistics Department that visited Rome during April 3-16, 2002.

The mission reached the following conclusions:

  • SDDS observance: Italy subscribes to the SDDS. It meets the SDDS specifications for coverage, periodicity, and timeliness for all data categories, with two exceptions, and for advance release calendars. For the exceptions, which are the timeliness of data on central government operations and the timeliness of data on the production index, Italy uses the two flexibility options to which it is entitled. In several instances, the Italian agencies could usefully update the metadata they provide for the IMF’s Dissemination Standards Bulletin Board (DSBB).

  • Prerequisites of quality: Italian statistical agencies in the main have a legal and institutional framework that supports statistical quality. However, no agency has the responsibility to compile and disseminate an integrated, comprehensive statement of government finances. Staff resources are under pressure in the National Accounts Directorate of Istat in the face of the evolving statistical requirements of the European Union (EU) and the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), and additional resources to automate price collection is a key factor in improving the consumer price index. In other datasets, resources are commensurate with existing statistical programs. All agencies demonstrate awareness of quality as a cornerstone of statistical work.

  • Integrity: All agencies demonstrate professionalism, are transparent in their practices and policies, and provide guidelines on ethical conduct for their staff.

  • Methodological soundness: The Italian national accounts, consumer price index, and producer price index follow internationally accepted guidelines on definitions, scope, classification and sectorization, and valuation. Monetary, balance of payments, and the existing components of government finance statistics could come closer in several respects.

  • Accuracy and reliability: Monetary statistics get high marks for accuracy and reliability. Source data and/or statistical techniques could usefully be strengthened in the other datasets, most importantly by raising response rates on the enterprise surveys used in the national accounts and producer price index, by making price collection for the consumer price index more efficient, and by improving the coverage of cross-border financial transactions that do not go through domestic banks. Good use is made of assessment and validation techniques, but studies of revisions could generally be used more widely to shed light on sources of error in provisional estimates.

  • Serviceability: By and large, Italian statistics are relevant, consistent, and are available on a timely basis with good frequency. However, a troubling difference has emerged between the distinct measures of government borrowing requirement and financing. With respect to revision policy, several datasets do not follow the international good practices of providing the public with a clear statement of the revision schedule and of identifying provisional estimates.

  • Accessibility: All datasets are readily available to the public and most are accompanied by convenient, comprehensive documentation on concepts, scope, classifications, basis of recording, data sources, and statistical techniques. Service to users could be enhanced by wider identification in press releases and publications of a knowledgeable person to answer inquiries.

Front Matter Page

INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND

ITALY

Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC)—Data Module Response by the Authorities

October 18, 2002

Contents

  • I. Reaction From the Italian Authorities on Fund Staff Recommendations

    • A. Cross-cutting Recommendations

    • B. National Accounts

    • C. Consumer Price Index

    • D. Producer Price Index

    • E. Government Finance Statistics

    • F. Monetary Statistics

    • G. Balance of payments statistics

Front Matter Page

INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND

ITALY

Detailed Assessments Using the Data Quality Assessment Framework (DQAF)

Prepared by the Statistics Department

Approved by Carol S. Carson and Michael C. Deppler

October 18, 2002

This document contains a detailed assessment by dataset of the elements and indicators that underlie the data quality dimensions discussed in Italy’s Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC)—Data Module. It also includes as appendices a summary of the Special Data Dissemination Standard, the DQAF generic framework, and the results of the users’ survey.

Contents

  • Acronyms

  • I. National Accounts

  • II. Price Statistics (Consumer Price Index)

  • III. Price Statistics (Producer Price Index)

  • IV. Government Finance Statistics

  • V. Monetary Statistics

  • VI. Balance of Payments Statistics

  • Text Tables

  • 1. DQAF: Summary Presentation of National Accounts

  • 2. DQAF: Summary Presentation of Consumer Price Statistics

  • 3. DQAF: Summary Presentation of Producer Price Statistics

  • 4. DQAF: Summary Presentation of Government Finance Statistics

  • 5. DQAF: Summary Presentation of Monetary Statistics

  • 6. DQAF: Summary Presentation of Balance of Payments

  • Appendices

  • I. Summary of the Special Data Dissemination Standard

  • II. DQAF—Generic Framework

  • III. Users’ Survey

Acronyms

1993 SNA

System of National Accounts 1993

ASIA

Statistical Register of Active Enterprises

ATECO

Attività economica (the Italian classification of economic activity)

BI

Bank of Italy

BPM5

Balance of Payments Manual, fifth edition

CPI

Consumer Price Index

COFOG

Classification of Functions of Government

COICOP

Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose

DQAF

Data Quality Assessment Framework

DSBB

Dissemination Standards Bulletin Board

ECB

European Central Bank

EMU

Economic and Monetary Union

ESA 95

European System of Accounts 1995

ESCB

European System of Central Banks

EU

European Union

Eurostat

Statistical Office of the European Communities

GDP

Gross Domestic Product

GNP

Gross National Product

GFSM 2001

Government Finance Statistics Manual, 2001

HICP

Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices

HBS

Household Budget Survey

ILO

International Labor Organization

IMF

International Monetary Fund

ISIC

International Standard Industrial Classification of all Economic Activities

Istat

National Institute of Statistics

LFS

Labor Force Survey

MFI

Monetary Financial Institution

MFSM

Monetary and Financial Statistics Manual

MEF

Ministry of Economy and Finance

NACE

Standard Classification of Economic Activities within the European Communities

ODC

Other Depository Corporation

OECD

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development

PPI

Producer Price Index

PRODCOM

List of Products of the European Communities

ROSC

Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes

SDDS

Special Data Dissemination Standard

SISC

Credit System Information Service

SISTAN

National Statistical System

SITC

Standard International Trade Classification

UIC

Italian Foreign Exchange Office