Press Release: IMF Convenes Advisory Committee Meeting on Modernizing Government Finance Statistics

May 18, 2012

Press Release No. 12/185
May 18, 2012

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) convened a meeting of the Government Finance Statistics Advisory Committee (GFSAC) during May 16-18, 2012 in Washington to continue discussions on a range of steps designed to update and modernize statistical methodologies globally.

IMF Deputy Managing Director Min Zhu, who opened the meeting organized by the Fund’s Statistics Department, highlighted the “importance of high quality fiscal data to maintain global financial stability in a changing world”. And he added, “We need to revise and upgrade statistical manuals to ensure statistics reflect accurately developments in the real world.”

The GFSAC is comprised of a group of experts from 14 countries and eight international organizations and is currently involved in working with the IMF on updating the Fund’s Government Finance Statistics Manual 2001 (GFSM 2001), which provides the framework for compiling analytically relevant fiscal statistics. The GFSAC reached agreement on a number of outstanding methodological issues, such as public sector debt, contingent liabilities, public-private partnerships, resource revenues, and bank restructuring agencies guaranteed by the government. It is anticipated that the update of the GFSM 2001 will be completed later in the year.

The update is designed to harmonize the GFSM 2001 with the System of National Accounts 2008 for consistency across macroeconomic datasets. It also aims to provide further conceptual guidance to compilers of fiscal statistics on how best to meet the analytical needs of users. The System of National Accounts 2008 is the international standard for compiling national accounts and is used to integrate and harmonize macroeconomic statistics across sectors.


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