This Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC) data module provides an assessment of Egypt’s macroeconomic statistics against the Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS) complemented by an assessment of data quality based on the IMF’s Data Quality Assessment Framework (DQAF, July 2001). The assessment reveals that against the background of economic liberalization, the Egyptian authorities have made important efforts to improve the statistics needed for developing and monitoring economic policies. There is a general awareness of the need for good quality data for these purposes.


This Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC) data module provides an assessment of Egypt’s macroeconomic statistics against the Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS) complemented by an assessment of data quality based on the IMF’s Data Quality Assessment Framework (DQAF, July 2001). The assessment reveals that against the background of economic liberalization, the Egyptian authorities have made important efforts to improve the statistics needed for developing and monitoring economic policies. There is a general awareness of the need for good quality data for these purposes.

I. Introduction

1. The data dissemination module of this Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC) provides a summary of Egypt’s practices on the coverage, periodicity, and timeliness of the data categories. This summary is complemented by a detailed assessment of the quality of the national accounts, the consumer price index (CPI), the wholesale price index (WPI), and government finance, monetary, and balance of payments statistics. This assessment uses the Data Quality Assessment Framework (DQAF) developed by the IMF’s Statistics Department (STA). The report is based on information provided prior to and during a staff mission from October 7–20, 2003,2 as well as publicly available information.

2. Section II includes an overview of the Special Data Dissemination Standards (SDDS) and an assessment of Egypt’s current data dissemination practices against this standard. 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 to achieve further improvements in Egypt’s statistics.

II. Data Dissemination Practices and the Special Data Dissemination Standard

A. Overview of the SDDS

3. Although Egypt is not yet a subscriber to the SDDS, the authorities have been working closely with the IMF toward subscription for several years. Therefore, Egypt’s data dissemination practices are assessed in terms of the dimensions (data, access, integrity, and quality) of the SDDS (see Box 1). For each dimension, the SDDS prescribes “good practice” elements that can be monitored by users of statistics.3

Dimensions and Elements of the Special Data Dissemination Standard

Data dimension (coverage, periodicity, and timeliness)

  • the dissemination of 18 data categories, including component detail, covering the four main macroeconomic statistical sectors, with prescribed periodicity and timeliness.

Access dimension

  • the dissemination of advance release calendars providing at least a one-quarter ahead notice of approximate release dates, and at least a one-week ahead notice of the precise release dates; and

  • the simultaneous release of data to all users.

Integrity dimension

  • the dissemination of the terms and conditions under which official statistics are produced and disseminated;

  • the identification of internal government access to data before release;

  • the identification of ministerial commentary on the occasion of statistical release; and

  • the provision of information about revision and advance notice of major changes in methodology.

Quality dimension

  • the dissemination of documentation on statistical methodology and sources used in preparing statistics, and

  • dissemination of component detail and/or additional data series that make possible cross-checks and checks of reasonableness.

Subscribers are required to take the following actions:

  • post description of their data dissemination practices (metadata) on the IMF’s Dissemination Standards Bulletin Board (DSBB). Summary methodology statements, which describe data compilation practices in some detail, are disseminated on the DSBB.

  • maintain an Internet website, referred to as the National Summary Data Page, which contains the actual data described in the metadata, and to which the DSBB is electronically linked.

B. Current Dissemination Practices and Outstanding Issues

4. Pursuant to a decree of the Prime Minister that appointed the Minister of Planning as SDDS country coordinator, the Egyptian authorities plan to subscribe to the SDDS in January 2004.4 The authorities have provided draft metadata for all prescribed data categories. In some instances, the metadata provided to date to the IMF have included information on dissemination practices that would be adopted to meet the requirements for subscription to the SDDS but have not yet been fully implemented.5 Therefore, Table 1 assesses Egypt’s existing data dissemination practices in terms of the SDDS requirements based on staff findings. Also, the authorities are working toward the development of a National Summary Data Page (NSDP). Advance release calendars are available only for a few financial and external sectors’ data categories. The authorities have prepared also external debt and international investment position (IIP) statistics with the breakdowns prescribed under the SDDS. The IIP data have not been disseminated to the public. The Data Template on International Reserves and Foreign Currency Liquidity is under development.

Table 1.

Current Practices on Coverage, Periodicity, and Timeliness of Data

article image
Note: Periodicity and timeliness: (D) daily; (W) weekly or with a lag of no more than one week from the reference data or the closing of the reference week; (M) monthly or with a lag of no more than one month; (Q) quarterly or with a lag of no more than one quarter; (A) annually. (…*) given that data are widely available from private sources, dissemination of official producers may be less time-sensitive.

5. The four agencies responsible for compiling official macroeconomic statistics are the Ministry of Planning (MOP), the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS), and the Ministry of Finance (MOF).6 Data access over the Internet is in a developmental phase in Egypt. Several agencies provide electronic public access to SDDS related data.

Data dimension: coverage, periodicity, and timeliness

6. Table 1 compares Egypt’s data dissemination practices to the SDDS requirements for coverage, periodicity, and timeliness of data. A preliminary review shows that the coverage for most data categories meets the SDDS requirements. The CBE is preparing an updated draft data template on international reserves and foreign currency liquidity for review by IMF staff. Most data categories meet the prescribed periodicity. The exception is central government operations (quarterly), for which Egypt will use one of its two allowed flexibility options. All data categories meet the timeliness requirements. The exceptions are wholesale prices and central government operations.7 For labor market data, Egypt will use the “as relevant” provisions available under the SDDS.

Access dimension

7. Advance release calendars are available for balance of payments, external debts, and analytical accounts of the banking sector and central bank. Data are not always simultaneously released to all interested users.

Integrity dimension

8. The authorities are working to finalize the metadata and to ensure that the metadata correspond to actual practice. The collection and compilation of statistics is covered by various laws and regulations that are publicly available. This also applies to dissemination but not in all cases. Presently there is little publicly available information on internal government access to data prior to release or on the identification of ministerial commentary on the occasion of statistical releases. Information on major changes in methodology, when made available, is provided to users usually after implementation. Information on revision policies is generally not publicly disseminated.

Quality dimension

9. The Egyptian authorities have provided draft summary methodology statements, which are being reviewed by STA. A preliminary review of the metadata shows that, in general, the CBE, MOP, MOF, and CAPMAS disseminate information showing component details and relevant data series that can facilitate statistical cross-checks and provide assurance of reasonableness of all data categories disseminated by them.

III. Summary Assessment of Data Quality

10. Interest in assessing the quality of data derives from the objective of complementing the SDDS with a consideration of the quality of the data being disseminated. It also derives from the objective of focusing more closely on the quality of the data that underpin surveillance of countries’ economic policies. Against this background, STA has developed a tool, the DQAF, to provide a structure and a common language to assess data quality. The DQAF comprises a generic framework,8 and a set of dataset-specific frameworks. The specific frameworks cover five dimensions of data quality—integrity, methodological soundness, accuracy and reliability, serviceability, and accessibility—and a set of prerequisites.9

11. Information resulting from the application of the assessment framework to the Egyptian statistical system is presented below, following the structure of the DQAF. Conclusions are also presented in the form of standardized summary tables in which the assessment of practices is made on a qualitative basis, using a four-part scale (Table 2 and Tables 1–6 in the Detailed Assessment volume).

Table 2.

Egypt: Data Quality Assessment Framework—Summary Presentation of Results

article image
Key to symbols: NA = Not Applicable; O = Practice Observed; LO = Practice Largely Observed; LNO =Practice Largely Not Observed; NO = Practice Not Observed

12. In summary, Egypt’s macroeconomic statistics are of reasonably good quality and are broadly adequate for effective surveillance. Nevertheless, IMF staff identified some shortcomings that detract from the accurate and timely analysis of economic developments and the formulation of appropriate policies. Unless addressed, these shortcomings have the potential to become more serious as economic liberalization progresses.

Prerequisites of quality

This category 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.

13. The National Accounts Department in MOP is responsible for compiling the national accounts. There is no single law that defines the legal and institutional environment for the national accounts. The Ministry’s legal mandate to receive data derives from its task regarding the General Plan of the State. Legislation protects confidentiality of individual data. However, there are no specific directives on the compilation of statistics. In particular, there is no legal requirement that the Ministry should disseminate its statistics. The National Accounts Department considers its staff resources limited but well equipped for their tasks. Most have received training in the System of National Accounts 1993 (1993 SNA), computer use, and English. Computer resources are adequate. There are few formal processes directed at efficiency. Quality awareness is stimulated by a project supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to strengthen the national accounts and prepare Egypt’s subscription to the SDDS. However, there are no periodic user surveys or an oversight body to provide guidance on the quality of the statistical series.

14. A series of laws and legislative decrees defines the legal and institutional environment for the compilation of statistics and censuses by CAPMAS, including the CPI and the WPI. CAPMAS collects, produces, and disseminates Egypt’s price statistics on the basis of existing legislation, which also provides for confidentiality of individual data and makes responding mandatory. Although resources are generally commensurate with the work program in terms of staff, but computer equipment and software are inadequate. Insufficient measures are taken to ensure efficient use of available resources. This is one of the main reasons for which the much needed CPI update and PPI implementation have been delayed. Concerning quality awareness, CAPMAS’ management expresses concern about the quality of price statistics. However, no systematic review is undertaken to identify problems at various stages of collecting, processing, and disseminating data. Accuracy and reliability of statistics have little weight within quality considerations.

15. Government finance statistics are compiled and disseminated by the MOF. The MOF has a legal and institutional environment that assigns it responsibility for the collection, compilation, and dissemination of fiscal data and provides authority for mandatory reporting. Data sharing and coordination among the MOF, CBE, and MOP are established. Staff resources are inadequate, and all processes in the accounting system are manual, which impacts on efficiency. Staff are well qualified, very experienced, and motivated. Quality awareness is high, and the legislation and regulations for the budget and final accounts provide the accounting rules and instructions and the requirement for auditing of the fiscal data.

16. The CBE has an adequate legal and institutional environment for producing monetary and balance of payments statistics. Working arrangements within the CBE and with other agencies for data sharing and coordination for the compilation of monetary and balance of payments statistics are adequate. Protection of confidential information is ensured by legislation. Staff, computers, and financial resources are adequate. High quality awareness is evidenced by the importance that CBE management attaches to its statistics work. The CBE has well established internal processes to identify and resolve problems at various stages of the collection, compilation, and dissemination of statistics.


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.

17. There is no law or other formal provision that addresses the professional independence of the National Accounts Department of the MOP. The department is fully integrated in the ministry and does not have, for instance, a separate budget and discretion regarding its work program. Internal government access to the data occurs at various levels during preparation of the General Plan of the State. Transparency would be promoted by making this fact better known to the general public. Advance notice has seldom been given of major changes in methodology, source data, and statistical techniques. Written guidelines for staff behavior in situations of potential conflict of interest do not exist. There is legislation stating the ethical standards for all government employees.

18. Legislation provides CAPMAS with independence from political interference. Professionalism is adequate, but lack of openness impedes smooth communication of problems. Concerning transparency, terms are disseminated; however, internal government access to data is not publicized and advance notice of changes is not given. MOF staff are subject to ethical standards laid down in the Government Employee’s Law.

19. MOF staff evidence professionalism. Compilation of the fiscal data and the choices of sources and methods are on an impartial basis. The MOF is entitled to comment publicly on erroneous interpretation and misuse of the data. As to transparency, legislation is available that sets out the terms and conditions under which the MOF collects, compiles, and disseminates fiscal data. Preferential access is not identified and no advance notice is given of changes in sources and methods. Concerning ethical standards, the same applies as for MOP.

20. CBE follows practices that encourages professionalism in the compilation of monetary and balance of payments statistics. Data are compiled on an impartial basis. The choice of sources and statistical techniques is based solely on statistical considerations. The CBE provides comments and clarification on erroneous interpretation and misuse of its statistics. For transparency, legislation governing collection and dissemination of statistics by the CBE is available to the public. There is no internal government access to CBE data prior to their release to the public. Major changes in methods, sources, and statistical techniques are noted in CBE publications at the time the data are published. No advance notice about forthcoming major changes is made to the public. Legislation and several CBE internal regulations provide broad guidelines for ethical standards, which staff are made aware of.

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.

21. The national accounts are moving toward adoption of concepts and definitions of the 1993 SNA. The scope of the national accounts includes the range of tables consistent with the minimum requirements for the implementation of the 1993 SNA. In addition, quarterly GDP by activity at current and constant prices is compiled. The classification/sectorization is in accordance with international standards. The basis for recording also is according to the international standards, with two exceptions. First, consumption of fixed capital is not included in the value of most nonmarket output. Second, most government and external transactions are recorded on a cash basis.

22. The concepts and definitions, scope, and basis for recording for the CPI are broadly consistent with internationally accepted standards. The expenditures of all resident households from urban and rural areas are within the scope of the index. The classifications of goods and services used in the current CPI are broadly compatible with internationally accepted standards. The CPI in preparation introduces the Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose (COICOP) adapted to national circumstances.

23. Concepts and definitions of the WPI are generally sound. The scope of the index covers domestic agricultural and manufacturing products, as well as imports. Different points of pricing are used and various prices are collected from wholesale traders and producers. Classifications used for the WPI are derived from international classifications, and focus mainly on classifying products by economic activities. The implementation of the Central Product Classification is being considered for the PPI. The basis for recording is generally consistent with the 1968 SNA.

24. For government finance statistics, the concepts and definitions are consistent with the A Manual of Government Finance Statistics 1986 (GFSM 1986). Some of the requirements (for instance, classifications) of the Government Finance Statistics Manual 2001 (GFSM 2001) have already been met. However, there are no plans for full implementation. The scope of general government is good, although some quasi-fiscal activity by state-owned banks or public enterprises is not included. Accounting classifications have been bridged to both GFSM 1986 and GFSM 2001. The basis for recording is cash for all transactions, except for investment expenditure that is recorded on an accrual basis.

25. The concepts and definitions for monetary statistics are broadly consistent with the Monetary and Financial Statistics Manual (MFSM). The scope of the analytical accounts of the banking survey is adequate. The classification of financial instruments and economic sectorization are broadly in line with MFSM guidelines. There are two deviations. One is that the subsector of other financial corporations is not separately identified. The other is that a few categories of financial assets recommended in the MFSM, such as shares and other equities, insurance technical reserves, and accounts receivable or payable are not shown separately. The basis for recording is accrual. However, earned interest is not incorporated into the underlying financial assets and liabilities. Most financial assets and liabilities are valued at market prices or at fair value. Monetary gold holdings and some securities are not valued at market prices.

26. Balance of payments statistics are compiled in broad conformity with the concepts and definitions of the Balance of Payments Manual, fifth edition (BPM5). Although the national presentation is less detailed than in BPM5, data are provided to international organizations using BPM5 format. The scope is broadly in accordance with standards. However, some transaction categories (mainly related to direct investment) are not included. The classification system is largely in line with BPM5. Little sectoral detail is provided. Data problems cause misclassification of some transactions, particularly for direct investment. The basis for recording uses market prices for valuation of transactions. Transactions are largely recorded on a cash basis. Data are prepared in both Egyptian pounds and U.S. dollars. The mid-point period average exchange rate for the month is used for currency conversion.

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.

27. Regarding the source data for national accounts a distinction must be made between public units that report to government agencies on the one hand, and private units surveyed by CAPMAS on the other. Difficulties in keeping the business register up to date likely affects the accuracy of CAPMAS’ surveys. There are problems in covering the unorganized private sector. No current statistics are available to track household final consumption expenditure. The indicators chosen for the quarterly national accounts are generally satisfactory, but no indicators have been developed for nearly 40 percent of economic activity. The statistical techniques used are broadly satisfactory. However, no efforts are undertaken to adjust commercial data on inventories and for consumption of fixed capital. The National Accounts Department validates source data before using them, but no extensive investigations into the accuracy of the sources takes place. The department routinely assesses intermediate data and statistical outputs. Revision studies are not undertaken as the data are considered final on first publication.

28. Source data for CPI weights were determined using sound techniques. However, the basket (1995/96) and outlet sample are outdated. The 1999/2000 household survey shows substantially different consumption patterns. New products are only introduced with an index update. Subsidized and controlled goods and services are overrepresented (most importantly, bread and rent). This combination of factors leads to a downward bias in the CPI, which is likely to be considerable. The monthly price survey is largely sufficient but the collection process is not adequately supervised. A special survey was organized in early 2003 to determine the share of newly built apartments that are not subject to price control, but its results are only used in the CPI in preparation. Statistical techniques used in compiling the index are outdated. Due to limited computer equipment and outdated software, processing of intermediate data is done manually. There is no electronic database, and collected price data are not fully used. Assessment and validation of data are limited to simple techniques. Assessment of intermediate data is not done regularly. Absence of regular audits on price collection also weakens the accuracy of the index. No revision studies are conducted.

29. The WPI: Updating of product composition and weights is overdue. Weights are derived from average values of output and imports for the years 1986/87 and 1987/88. Small businesses are not covered. Source data on prices from a sample of wholesale traders are collected every month. From manufacturing enterprises, only prices for the first month of each quarter are collected. Although information is available, compilation of a producer price index (PPI) has been postponed. Weaknesses with regard to statistical techniques, data assessment, and validation, as noted above for the CPI also affect WPI. No revision studies are conducted.

30. Adequate source data for government finance statistics are available from the budget monitoring and final accounts compiled by the MOF. Reportedly data received from the National Investment Bank are sufficiently detailed for GFS purposes. Data for some special funds at public service authorities are not included. Statistical techniques are sound. Assessment and validation of source data are undertaken by financial controllers in each budgetary agency and economic authority in accordance with the accounting law and regulations. Source data are subject to external audit. Coordination arrangements with the CBE are in place and reconciliations of financing to the monetary and debt data are routinely made. Revision studies are undertaken, but there are few revisions outside the routine replacement of preliminary actual data with final audited actual data.

31. For monetary statistics, source data are derived from accounting records of the CBE and the banks. The reported source data provide reasonably detailed information for appropriate classification and sectorization of bank accounts in monetary statistics. The data collection system allows timely compilation of monetary statistics. Statistical techniques are sound. Report forms are designed to encourage use of computer programs. Assessment and validation of source data, intermediate data, and statistical outputs are carried out routinely by CBE’s Monetary Policy Unit. Discrepancies and unusual movements in data are investigated. Staff conduct revision studies regularly and significant discrepancies are taken into account in future data production.

32. Balance of payments statistics face problems with source data. Because merchandise trade statistics based on Customs declarations have serious problems, the balance of payments have to rely on banks’ foreign exchange records for exports and imports of goods. Further, coverage and classification of foreign exchange transactions may be deteriorating following economic liberalization. Also, source data do not reasonably approximate accrual basis. Another main data problem is the lack of a survey of direct investment enterprises. The CBE is working with other agencies to improve both Customs statistics and statistics on direct investment in Egypt. Timeliness of data sources is appropriate. Statistical techniques are sound and consistent with international practice. Assessment and validation of source data and statistical outputs use appropriate methods. Although no formal revision studies are conducted, analysis of revisions is made and considered in compiling data for subsequent periods.


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.

33. The MOP has no well established consultation mechanism in place to monitor the relevance of the national accounts to users. Timeliness and periodicity meet the SDDS. Statistics are consistent within the dataset and with other statistical frameworks. Time series over longer periods have to be constructed by users themselves on the basis of overlap years. There is no regular schedule of revisions of the annual data, except for the five-yearly change of the base year. This is because data are deemed final when first released. Nevertheless, mistakes are corrected in these data, which is not publicized. On occasion of a change of the base year, MOP publishes a summary documentation of the changes.

34. The CPI meets SDDS requirements for timeliness and periodicity. The WPI, although produced monthly, is publicly disseminated every other month, but is made available monthly to government agencies. The relevance of the two indicators is widely disputed. Consideration is given to replacing the WPI with a PPI. Although the CAPMAS responds to users’ queries, their feedback is not actively sought. The indices are consistent in their aggregation and within time series, but show important differences in trends for similar categories of products. Revision policies are not publicly known. Monthly price indices are not revised because they are used in contracts.

35. The relevance of government finance statistics is inadequate and could be improved by releasing more timely final audited parliamentary approved accounts and by seeking regular feedback from users. Timeliness and periodicity do not meet the SDDS requirements. Quarterly central government operations data are usually released within 45 days of the reference quarter. Preliminary annual data are available within three months. Government finance statistics are consistent internally and over time, and financing is routinely reconciled with CBE’s monetary and debt data. However, the mix of cash and accrual results in a statistical discrepancy that is relatively large. A revision policy is in place to handle the few revisions. Revisions studies are not published. Preliminary and final data are clearly identified.

36. To ensure the relevance of monetary statistics, CBE undertakes regular consultations between data compilers and various data users to ascertain the users’ needs. Although no formal mechanism is in place for monitoring assistance to users, detailed contact information is provided. The analytical accounts of the CBE and the banking sector meet the timeliness and periodicity requirements of the SDDS. Monetary statistics are generally consistent within the dataset, over time, and with balance of payments and government finance statistics. Preliminary and final data are clearly identified and explanation of major revisions is provided. Revision policy and practice follow a predictable pattern which users are informed of. CBE staff undertake revision studies regularly, but these are not made available to the public.

37. Balance of payments statistics have maintained their relevance through informal contacts with users, although no regular users’ survey exists. An annual review of balance of payments data by the Central Audit Organization for its reporting to Parliament also provides a basis for evaluating the relevance. The timeliness exceeds and periodicity meets SDDS requirements. Consistency of data over time and with other datasets has a high priority. Series are revised backward when major changes are introduced. However, due to the revision schedule, quarterly data differ from the corresponding annual data for the latest year. Revisions follow a reasonably regular pattern. Preliminary and revised data are identified and an indication of future revisions is given. There is no formal public document setting out the revision cycle. Analysis of revisions is not published.


Accessibility deals with the availability of information to users. Element refers to the extent to which data and metadata are clear and easily available and to which assistance to the users is adequate to help them find and use the data.

38. The data accessibility of the national accounts suffers from the absence of a clear dissemination policy. Data are published by different agencies, there is no advance release calendar, and some users receive data earlier than others. The availability of metadata is not widely publicized. Assistance to users is given, but contact information is not mentioned in publications. No catalogue of publications and services of the National Accounts Department are available.

39. Data accessibility for CPI and WPI is broadly satisfactory. Publications of CAPMAS provide detailed data. Other government agencies may also include main aggregates of the two indices in their publications. However, no release calender is available. Metadata are limited to the notes included in publications. Staff acknowledges the necessity of preparing detailed descriptions of sources and methods for the index compilation, particularly in the context of improvements now underway. Assistance to users for both indicators is provided through the Information Center maintained by CAPMAS. A catalogue of publications and a list of prices are available but there is no contact person information in the publications.

40. Data accessibility for government finance statistics could be improved as there is no annual government finance statistics publication providing full disaggregated detail, no preannounced schedule for the release of the statistics, and there exists preferential treatment of selected users. Metadata are available for the accounting data but not for government finance statistics. Prompt and knowledgeable assistance to users is provided. Contact persons are not identified and there is no catalogue of publications and services.

41. Data accessibility for monetary statistics is generally adequate. The published data are presented in a clear manner and are accompanied by charts, tables, and a review of current-period developments. An advance release calendar is published on CBE’s internet website. Monetary statistics are released simultaneously to all interested parties. Nonpublished subaggregates are usually made available upon request. Metadata accessibility is provided. Assistance to users is provided, but monitored only informally. A list of CBE publications and contact person information is posted on the CBE’s Internet website.

42. Data accessibility for balance of payments statistics is appropriate. Data are presented clearly on CBE’s website and in its publications with accompanying text and charts. The data are released simultaneously to all users according to a pre-announced schedule. Additional details are available upon request. Metadata accessibility is limited. Some documents exist on concepts, sources, and methods, but they are not published. CBE’s website includes summary metadata according to the SDDS format. Assistance to users is provided, but monitored only informally. A contact person is identified on CBE’s website. The CBE plans to include contact details and a catalogue of publications in its hard copy publications in the immediate future.

IV. Staff’s Recommendations

43. Based on the results of the data quality assessment, discussions with the Egyptian authorities in the statistics-compiling agencies, and opinions expressed by data users, the following measures are proposed to increase further Egypt’s adherence to international statistical standards and to enhance the analytical usefulness of its macroeconomic statistics. In the IMF staff’s view, the high priority recommendations regarding the CPI should be addressed with particular urgency. The IMF would be prepared to provide technical assistance, for instance, in the area of price statistics.

Cross-cutting Recommendations10

  • Working through the recently nominated SDDS country coordinator, finalize all necessary steps to enable Egypt to formalize subscription to SDDS in January 2004.

  • Consider modalities for improving interagency communication and coordination in the production and dissemination of official statistics.

  • Seek to improve transparency and accessibility through conducting regular users’ surveys, providing advance notification of changes, and adopting preannounced release schedules.

National Accounts

High priority

  • Consider legal and administrative provisions that assure the public that political interference in statistics is excluded.

  • Develop a clear dissemination policy and improve assistance to users.

Other key recommendations

  • Improve comprehensiveness of source statistics, among other things, through promoting the development of a unique and up-to-date business register.

  • Conduct regular surveys to estimate the activities of the unorganized private sector.

  • Develop statistics to track household final consumption expenditure on a continuing basis.

  • Estimate gross-fixed capital formation, preferably using the Perpetual Inventory Method.

Consumer Price Index

High priority

  • Obtain adequate computer equipment and develop a comprehensive price database.

  • Complete the update of the CPI; resolve issues such as outdated weights and outlet selection.

  • Organize an efficient supervision of regional centers and regular audits on price collection.

Wholesale Price Index

High priority

  • Obtain adequate computer equipment to replace the outdated WPI with a PPI.

Other key recommendations for Consumer Price Index and Wholesale Price Index

  • Produce and publish a comprehensive methodology on sources and methods of the CPI in preparation and the expected PPI.

  • Establish a fixed schedule for updates

  • Introduce review of processes to identify problems at various stages.

Government Finance Statistics

High priority

  • Move to an integrated computerized accounting system.

  • Include data on quasi-fiscal activity of the economic authorities, special funds of the public service authorities, and the Social Development Fund.

  • More timely release of final audited parliamentary approved accounts.

Other key recommendations

  • Implement the analytic framework of the GFSM 2001 by reclassifying and disseminating data according to the GFSM 2001 and develop a migration path for the full implementation of the system.

  • Publish an annual government finance statistics publication containing full disaggregated details.

Monetary Statistics

High priority

  • Reclassify Arab International Bank (AIB) as a resident entity.

  • Show the subsector of other financial corporations separately in monetary statistics.

Other key recommendations

  • Publish analytical accounts of banks in the format of “other depository corporations survey” as recommended in MFSM.

  • Revalue securities not held for trading at market prices or fair values.

  • Revalue monetary gold holdings at market prices.

  • Incorporate accrued interest and interest arrears into the underlying assets and liabilities.

  • Show all the categories of financial assets as recommended in the MFSM separately.

Balance of Payments Statistics

High priority

  • Disseminate balance of payments statistics in national publications according to the detailed classifications recommended by BPM5.

  • Conduct an enterprise survey, in cooperation with the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI) and other agencies, for collecting data on flows and stocks of direct investment in Egypt as well as associated incomes.

  • Use a revision schedule that provides consistent quarterly and annual data.

Other key recommendations

  • Work with Customs Administration and CAPMAS to improve international merchandise trade statistics from Customs documents. When satisfactory data based on Customs become available, use them for compiling balance of payments.

  • Prepare publications on concepts, sources, and methods used to compile statistics for both specialists and general users.


With the agreement of the authorities, an informal survey was conducted among academics, media, international organizations and bilateral donors, banks, and public sector agencies. The results of the survey are presented in Appendix III of the accompanying Detailed Assessments document.


The mission team was headed by Mr. Adriaan Bloem and included Mr. Cornelis Gorter, Ms. Betty Gruber, Mr. Gary Jones, Ms. Silvia Matei, Mr. Manik Shrestha, and Ms. Xiu-zhen Zhao (all STA), and Ms. Lidia Tokuda (STA—Administrative Assistant).


See Guide to the Data Dissemination Standards (Module 1: The Special Data Dissemination Standard), IMF, May 1996.


Decree No. 1578 dated September 28, 2003.


Because the ROSC provides a “snap shot” assessment of a country’s statistical system at a particular point in time, prospective or planned improvements are not included in the assessment. However, where relevant, they are noted.


The share price index is compiled and disseminated by the Cairo & Alexandria Stock Exchange at


CAPMAS intends to begin Internet dissemination of the wholesale price index with monthly timeliness prior to Egypt’s subscription to the SDDS.


Information on data quality and the DQAF can be found at the IMF website on the “Data Quality Reference Site” (


See also the Generic Framework set out in Appendix II of the accompanying Detailed Assessments volume to this report.


These recommendations apply to two or more of the statistics-producing agencies.

Arab Republic of Egypt: Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC)—Data Module
Author: International Monetary Fund