Last updated: June 2006
Volume 53, Number 2
IMF Staff Papers

Differences in IMF Data: Incidence and Implications

Anthony Pellechio and John Cady

Full Text of this Article (PDF 164K)

Abstract: Data published in IMF country reports and International Financial Statistics (IFS) may differ for seemingly identical variables, and at times users may be unaware of the reasons underlying such differences and may lack the information needed to permit reconciliation. This paper presents a study of the consistency of annual data on core statistical indicators presented in the IFS and a sample of country reports. The paper finds a significant incidence of apparent discrepancies for similarly defined variables. It discusses the reasons for differences and examines the implications for research using an example from the debt sustainability literature. [JEL C10, C82]