International Monetary Fund (IMF)

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The IMF is one of several international agencies that historically collect and process statistics on national accounting and balance of payments for its member countries, which include almost all sovereign member countries of the United Nations. The Fund’s statistics include some widely used databases in the academic arena, namely, Balance of Payments and International Investment Position (IIP) Statistics, External Debt Statistics, Government Finance Statistics, International Financial Statistics (IFS) Online Service, World Economic Outlook Databases, etc. International Financial Statistics is a standard source of international statistics on all aspects of international and domestic finance; it contains time series data from 1948 and provides data on exchange rates, international liquidity, international banking, money and banking, interest rates, prices, production, international transactions, government accounts, and national accounts.

The IMF, jointly with the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the World Bank, disseminates data on external debt, which are obtained primarily from creditor and market sources. The data cover the external debt of developing and transition countries and territories, and also include statistics on international reserves. See http://www.imfstatistics.org/imf/.

Instructions on updating GDP data using IMF growth rate forecast

This GDP series (GDP2011) is a history and forecast series. The historical values are derived from the original GDP2011 series in IFs. All values 2010 and beyond, are calculated using WEO’s GDP growth rate data. The calculated values go from 2010-2021.

To calculate the GDP for a Country/Year: GDPt-1 + (GDPt-1 * (GDP Growth Rate/100)) 

For the countries that were lacking growth rate data, leave their GDP data as it is in the original GDP2011 data. These countries will not have data up to 2021 because of this.

Countries without GDP growth rate data in WEO:

  • Cuba
  • Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
  •  Palestine
  • Syria (post 2010)

The growth rate data was found here: http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2016/01/weodata/download.aspx

Growth rate data is updated by the IMF biannually in April and September / October. The data is published as documentation of the meetings of the International Monetary and Financial Committee which forms the main global surveillance instrument of the IMF. The meetings take place following the same biannual schedule. The schedule can be found here: http://www.imf.org/external/am/index.htm. 

In the WEO data the Subject Descriptor is Gross domestic product, constant prices and the Units are Percent change

Instructions on pulling IMF WoRLD Data

The IMF World Revenue Longitudinal Data (WoRLD) Database is available from the IMF and consists of data primarily on taxes as a percent of total GDP. Data exists from the year 1990 onwards. The database can be found at: http://data.imf.org/?sk=77413F1D-1525-450A-A23A-47AEED40FE78 . When pulling this data, at the current point in time, it is not possible to download the entire database to a single Excel file. When pulling individual series from the database all years and all countries must be selected and the indicators must be chosen individually and then exported to an Excel file. 

When importing the IMF WoRLD data use the "IMF WoRLD Countries" country concordance table. There currently is no source that explains further in depth the definitions or collection methods behind the IMF WoRLD database. Repeat this step for the 14 series that are updated through this process. Those series are:

  • Corporate Income Tax Revenue as a Percent of GDP
  • Excise Tax Revenue as a Percent of GDP
  • General Goods and Services Tax Revenue as a Percent of GDP
  • Goods and Services Tax Revenue as a Percent of GDP
  • Income Tax Revenue as a Percent of GDP
  • Individual Income Tax Revenue as a Percent of GDP
  • Property Tax Revenue as a Percent of GDP
  • Social Contribution as a Percent of GDP
  • Tax Revenue as a Percent of GDP
  • Taxes on Payroll and Workforce Revenue as a Percent of GDP
  • Total Grants as a Percent of GDP
  • Total Revenue as a Percent of GDP
  • Trade Revenue as a Percent of GDP
  • VAT Revenue as a Percent of GDP

The IMF WoRLD Database will be updated annually. A paper on the database will be released soon. Upon release of the working paper this page and the datadict should be updated.