International Seminar on Timeliness, Methodology amd Comparability of Rapid Estimates of Economic Trends, 27-29 May 2009, Ottawa, Canada Joint WB-IMF Initiative on Quarterly External Debt Statistics. Ibrahim Levent World Bank. Quarterly External Debt Statistics (QEDS).
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International Seminar on Timeliness, Methodology amd Comparability of Rapid Estimates of Economic Trends, 27-29 May 2009, Ottawa, CanadaJoint WB-IMF Initiative on Quarterly External Debt Statistics
The Quarterly External Debt Statistics (QEDS) database, jointly developed by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, brings together detailed external debt data of countries that subscribe to the IMF’s Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS) and a selected number of countries that participate in the IMF’s General Data Dissemination System (GDDS).
Scope of Bank-IMF project on quarterly debt statistics
The aim of the project is to:
Facilitate the dissemination in standard formats of external debt data published individually by subscribers.
A set of comprehensive debt tables for each subscribing country.
Provide easy access to cross-country quarterly debt data for macroeconomic analysis.
Availability of consistent cross-country information for a large number of countries.
A facility to query and extract data by country, debt indicator, and time period.
Motivation for QEDS
- In the aftermath of the Asian crisis there was an increased focus on crisis prevention and management.
- With respect to crisis prevention there was a consensus on the need for better financial information.
- Consequently, the TFFS undertook several initiatives to promote better availability of debt data.
- Joint External Debt Statistics (creditor-side data)
- Debt Guide
May 2002 TFFS meeting:
- Members address for the first time the need for a centralized database for external debt statistics of SDDS subscribers.
- WB supports establishment of a centralized database; indicates willingness to implement and maintain the database.
Sept 2003 TFFS meeting:
- WB presents a draft proposal for a SDDS-based centralized database. Members support the proposal.
WB and IMF begin collaboration on a project to bring together quarterly debt statistics of SDDS subscribers in a centralized database.
- WB-IMF release the quarterly external debt statistics (QEDS).
WB-IMF invite selected non-SDDS subscribers to participate in QEDS.
-WB-IMF invite GDDS countries to participate in QEDS.
QEDS is expanded to General Data Dissemination System (GDDS) countries,
mainly Low-Income Countries (LICs).
The project can be viewed as comprised five phases:
Phase I - designing standardized debt data templates for data collection.
Phase II - informing SDDS subscribers about the joint Bank-IMF project; and asking them for comments and their support
also informing some Non-SDDDS countries.
Phase III – developing a data collection tool and implementing data reporting.
Phase IV - disseminating the centralized database.
Phase V- Expansion of the database to GDDS participants.
Phase I – designing debt data templates
A main goal of the joint Bank-IMF project on debt statistics is to facilitate dissemination of debt data in standard formats that are aligned with the model presentations in the External Debt Guide.
Thus, the initial phase of the project focused on designing standard debt tables that could be used for data collection.
Two sets of tables were developed:
- The first set consists of three tables based on the SDDS prescribed external debt data category (table 1) and encouraged debt data categories (tables 2 and 3).
- The second set comprises supplementary tables that go beyond the SDDS to provide further analytical presentations—particularly with respect to sectoral data—and facilitate cross-country data analysis.
Templates for external debt data
SDDS Tables: Prescribed and encouraged items
Table 1: Gross external debt position by sector (prescribed item)
Table 2: Gross external debt position: foreign currency and domestic currency debt (encouraged item)
Table 3: Debt service payment schedule for outstanding external debt (encouraged item)
Templates for external debt data
Supplementary Tables (6)
Table 1.1: Gross external debt position – traded debt instruments (reconciliation between nominal & market value)
Table 1.2: Gross external debt position- other sectors (additional breakdown to table 1)
Table 1.3: Gross external debt position: public sector debt and publicly guaranteed private sector debt (focus on PPG debt)
Table 1.4: Gross external debt position: arrears
Table 2.1: Gross external foreign currency and foreign currency linked debt position
Table 3.1: Gross external debt position: short-term remaining maturity by sector
Phase II – informing SDDS subscribers of project and subscriber responses
In early March 2004, the World Bank and the IMF wrote a letter to SDDS subscribers to inform them of the initiative and to solicit their support.
By the beginning of May, 47 out of 57 SDSS subscribers had responded to the letter.
- Virtually all respondents indicated their willingness to provide Table 1 (gross external debt position by sector).
- 19 countries indicated that they would be able to provide Table 2 (foreign currency and domestic currency external debt split), and seven countries indicated that they could provide Table 3 (debt service payment schedule).
15 countries replied that they would be able to provide at least one of the six supplementary tables, and 20 countries noted that they might be able to provide additional tables subject to resource availability.
Non-SDDS countries invited to participate
Extended the quarterly external debt database to include non-SDDS countries.
There are several non-SDDS countries that are either already producing data according to the methodology of the Debt Guide or have the capacity to produce such data--these countries have comprehensive IIPs.
Several non-SDDS were invited to participate in QEDS – Azerbaijan, Bolivia, New Zealand, Panama, Paraguay, Yemen.
Address the issue of greater availability of data from SDDS countries.
While all participating countries are providing data for table 1 of the template, data provision for other tables is mixed.
Phase III – data collection
To facilitate data collection the Bank developed a data collection tool based on tables 1-3 as well as the accompanying supplementary tables.
The data collection tool also incorporated essential features such as data exchange methods, validation rules, and reporting currency option.
The approach on data exchange methods was to accommodate the specific situation of each country, as well as adapt to future improvements in data exchange standards.
-The standard method of data exchange involves directly collecting data from countries in Excel format.
- Over the medium term, the data collection process is likely to change so that data can be obtained from countries’ web sites based on SDMX standards (www.sdmx.org).
Country A (Web)
Cross- Country Database
Dissemination of cross-cty data
Country B (Web)
Country C (Web)
Data collection system now and in the medium term
Data collection Data collection
in the near termin the medium term
Data collected Data to be obtained World Bank
directly from from country
country web site
Phase IV – data dissemination
The Bank developed a data dissemination tool, the key features of which are:
Country tables – show the quarterly external debt of a country.
Cross-country tables – facilitates country comparisons and analysis by providing direct access to pre-formatted tables.
A query tool for data retrieval – allows users to extract data in different ways.
The initiative focuses on the Capacity of LICs to produce
high frequency data.
- Required items for participation—public and publicly-guaranteed external debt position data broken down by maturity.
-Encouraged items are in line with the GDDS including external debt-service payment schedule, creditor sector information, and the external debt position data broken by type of instrument.
Data for the memorandum item in Table 1 (nonguaranteed private sector external debt) are not required for participation, although—if available—data are encouraged to be disseminated at least once yearly.