First Time Visitors
Tour of www.imf.org
About the IMF
Welcome to the IMF Website! Although the site contains a lot of information about the IMF and its member countries, you should have no difficulty in finding your way around. To make your navigation even easier, the following suggestions might be helpful.
Most first-time visitors find it's easiest to start with the following basic information:
What the IMF Does
The work of the IMF is of three main types:
- Technical Assistance and Training
Supporting all three of these activities is IMF work in economic research and statistics. More detailed information on these topics can be found in both the left and right columns of this section.
Data and Statistics
Are you curious about how the IMF gets its money and how it lends this money to its members? If so, you can find answers under Data and Statistics. If you are interested in data on IMF lending, exchange rates, and other economic and financial indicators you can find plenty of information (possibly more than you bargained for) under Data. Both monthly and quarterly statistics on IMF financial transactions, disbursements, repayments, credit outstanding, liquidity, loan arrangements, and arrears are all here, as well as some data on the financial position of individual member countries.
In addition, under Standards and Codes you can access the IMF's Dissemination Standards Bulletin Board (DSBB), the Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS), the General Data Dissemination System (GDDS), and the Data Quality Reference (DQRS) sites.
Manuals, guides, and other material on statistical practices at the IMF, in member countries, and of the statistical community at large are also available, as well as an Online Discussion Groups/Seminars/Conferences section.
Finally a sidebar on the left of the page gives the day's SDR rate in terms of the U.S. dollar, as well as other important exchange rates, updated twice daily.
If you want information on any member country's relations with the Fund, you can readily find it by simply clicking on country information and then on the name of the country you are interested in. On this site, the term "country" does not in all cases refer to a territorial entity that is a state as understood by international law and practice. As used here, the term also covers some territorial entities that are not states. Dependent territories of member countries are listed alphabetically followed by a description of the constitutional relationships with their member countries. Choosing an option in the left column of this site will bring you up to date on:
- IMF publications about the member country.
- The country's position in the Fund (when it joined, its quota size).
- When its last Article IV consultation with the Fund took place.
- The country's financial relations with the Fund (disbursements and payments).
- Whether the country subscribes to the Data Standards Bulletin Board
News and Events
To learn about the latest IMF policies and practices, click on News in the header or footer.
News topics are grouped as follows:
- Communiqués of IMF meetings
- Concluding Remarks of Article IV Missions
- Press Releases about IMF dealings with its member countries, such as loans
- Public Information Notices — summary of the IMF Executive Board's discussion of the member country's economy—in effect, the world monetary community's opinion of the member's economic well-being.
- Speeches by IMF management and senior staff, and
- Transcripts of press briefings
- IMF Executive Board Calendar — formal meetings and seminars of the Executive Board
- IMF Seminars, Conferences, and Economic Forums
If, in this mass of information, you have not found what you are looking for, type your topic in Search. Clicking on Advanced News Search will give you hints on narrowing the search to avoid too many results.
The IMF issues a great number of Publications related to its operational and statistical work. Most publications can be downloaded in full from the website.
To obtain a hard copy of any publication, please follow the instructions in ordering information.
Clicking on Publications brings up a screen that allows you to enter the title, author, and subject of any publication you might wish. You may narrow your search by entering series, date, and language information in the appropriate boxes. To the left of the screen is a column listing various categories of publications:
- Recent titles—publications issued during the previous three months
- Work in Progress—gives you an idea of the contents of publications soon to be issued
- Periodicals—read articles appearing in the IMF Survey, Finance & Development, and IMF Staff Papers
- Country Policy Intentions—give a useful (though rather technical) insight into the economic and financial policies of IMF member countries, as well as the text of letters of intent, giving the specific economic and financial goals of countries borrowing money from the IMF.
Although the IMF's policy on quoting from or reproducing its publications is extremely liberal, some restrictions apply. These are enumerated in copyright and permissions.
The right side of the publications screen lists popular titles or series as follows:
- IMF Survey, Finance & Development, and Economic Issues—are directed toward the general reader.
- Working Papers— produced mainly by IMF staff members, encapsulate the latest research undertaken in the IMF.
- Staff Country Reports—an indispensable source of information on the economic status and policies of individual member countries.
- Policy Discussion Papers—give a broader view of economic policy developments.
Index, Map, and IMF Contacts
Now that you know something about what the IMF Website has to offer, you might find navigating the site a little easier by making use of the Site Index and the Site Map. The Index contains an alphabetical listing of subjects to be found in the Website, while the Map lists the subjects under specific categories, such as About the IMF, IMF Publications, and IMF Finances. As you become more familiar with the IMF, you will probably find that the Index and the Map, along with the Search box, are the most efficient way of accessing information.
Clicking on IMF Contacts will provide you with a telephone and fax number and e-mail address if you have a specific question not found in the Website. Journalists, for example, can call the "Inquiries from the media" number to talk with a press officer. There are numbers for Employment and internship inquiries and for other useful contacts.
If you wish to take advantage of our e-mail notification service, merely provide your e-mail address and the type of information you would like to receive (press releases, speeches, and the like) and this information will be forwarded automatically to your e-mail address.
Some parts of the IMF Website are updated daily; the others are under constant review. By visiting the site frequently, you can stay current with developments in the IMF. You can now access some topics in Arabic, French, German, and Spanish. And remember: The IMF website refrains from obtaining information from users without their explicit consent out of respect for the privacy of its users. But we are always grateful for your feedback.
What's Not Available on the IMF Website?
The IMF tries to make public as much information as possible. Internal documents, such as the Morning Press (a daily summary for IMF staff members of press articles about the IMF), are, of course, an exception. International Financial Statistics is available online to subscribers, in hard copy, and on CD-ROM. You can find copies in some university libraries as well and occasionally even in local libraries.