World Economic Outlook, May 1999
About the WEO Database
About the Data Set
What Data are Available?
How To Use These Files
World Economic Outlook Databases
Annual data CSV
Monthly data CSV
Shares of Aggregate GDP Based on Purchasing Power Parity (PPP)
Valuation of Country GDP
About the World Economic Outlook (WEO) Database The WEO database is created during the biannual World Economic Outlook (WEO) exercise, which begins in January and June of each year and results in the WEO publication, which is released in May and October. Selected series that are available in the publication are now available on this website at the time of the release of the WEO press version (late April and September). If necessary, these figures will be revised in order to maintain consistency with the published World Economic Outlook.
The WEO exercise is coordinated by the World Economic Studies Division in the Research Department. The projections and analysis contained in the World Economic Outlook are an integral element of the IMF's ongoing surveillance of economic development and policies in its member countries and of the global economic system. The survey of prospects and policies is the product of a comprehensive interdepartmental review of world economic developments, which draws primarily on the information IMF staff gathers through its consultations with member countries.
WEO projections are prepared by the country desk economists in area departments on the basis of internationally consistent assumptions about world economic activity, exchange rates, and conditions in international financial and commodity markets. For approximately 50 of the largest economies, referred to as Group A countries and which account for 90 percent of world output, the projections are updated for each WEO exercise. Other countries provide updates and revisions to their projections both during the WEO exercise and at the time of the IMF's regular Article IV consultations with member countries or in connection with the use of Fund resources, unless world developments necessitate more frequent updates.
How the WEO estimates differ from those in International Financial Statistics
The data appearing in the World Economic Outlook are provided to the Research Department at the time of the WEO exercise, not on a continual basis. The historical data and projections are based upon the information gathered by the IMF country desk economists in the context of their missions and ongoing analysis of the evolving situation in member countries; projections are staff estimates. The data published in the Statistics Department’s International Financial Statistics and CD-ROM product are gathered as part of an ongoing data collection effort in which member country statistical agencies provide public statistics to the IMF. Because of the difference in data collection techniques, methodological issues, focus, and timing, the estimates in International Financial Statistics and the World Economic Outlook can differ.
Please note the following:
World aggregates for the following annual series are provided from 1970:
Annual percentages of real GDP are year-on-year changes.
Real GDP is expressed in billions of national currency units; the base year is country-specific. The last available year is consistent with that which appears in the statistical tables in the WEO publication.
GDP is expressed in billions of national currency units. The last available year is consistent with that which appears for GDP in constant prices in the statistical tables in the WEO publication.
GDP is expressed in billions of U.S. dollars. These values are based upon GDP in national currency and the exchange rate projections provided by the country desk economists for developing and transition countries. Exchanges rates for advanced economies are set as one part of the WEO assumptions during the WEO exercise. The last available year is consistent with that which appears for GDP in constant prices in the statistical tables in the WEO publication.
Shares of Aggregate GDP Based on Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) Valuation of Country GDP This data form the basis for the country weights used to generate the World Economic Outlook country group composites for the domestic economy. The data are expressed as percent of the world total.
Data for inflation are annual percentage change averages for the year, not end-of-period data.
Output gaps are calculated as actual GDP less potential GDP as a percent of potential GDP. Estimates of output gaps are subject to a significant margin of uncertainty. For a discussion of approaches to calculating potential output, see Paula R. De Masi, "IMF Estimates of Potential Output: Theory and Practice," in Staff Studies for the World Economic Outlook (Washington: IMF, December 1997), pp. 40-46.
Net private capital flows comprise net direct investment, net portfolio investment, and other long- and short-term net investment flows including official and private borrowing. The composition of the group aggregates appearing in the table "Emerging Market Economies: Net Capital Flows" differs from the standard WEO groups. "Total Emerging Markets" includes developing countries, countries in transition, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan Province of China, and Israel. Please refer to the notes below for additional details.
The series in the data file are organized as they appear in the statistical table:
Net direct investment
Net portfolio investment
Other net investment
Net official flows
Change in reserves
The data tables, in the WEO Database Index, are presented in Comma Delimited, CSV text file format. Although this file format allows for the data table to be easily retrieved into a variety of applications, they are best viewed within one that will allow one to easily manipulate data that is in columnar format. Common examples of such applications are those that are used to create spreadsheets and databases.
If you don't have access to either a spreadsheet or a database application, you can also retrieve the data table file into either an ASCII text-editing or a word-processing application. However, since neither of these two application types has the facility to easily format the width of the data columns, quite a bit of manual reformatting will be required to properly view the data.
Before you save the data table to disk, it is recommended that you view it first to make sure that it contains the data you are interested in.
To View a Data Table
To view a data table, within your browser window, click on the CSV link that is located just to the right of the table name.
Alternatively, you can right-click on the CSV link and then select "Open in New Window." This viewing method is particularly useful if you want to open several tables for viewing at the same time. Simply repeat the steps for each table you want to open for viewing.
To Save a Data Table to Disk
To save a data table to disk, highlight the CSV link, right-click, and then select "Save Target As." Make sure that you save the file as a CSV Text Document.
To Retrieve a Data Table in to a Spreadsheet Application or Import the Data Table into a Database Application
To retrieve the data table into a spreadsheet application, proceed with the steps that you normally go through to open an existing spreadsheet.
To import the data table into a database, create a new table and then import the data table file into the newly created database table.
Note that because the data table is formatted as a CSV Text Document, you may be prompted to set the file import options, which will ensure that the data is properly formatted when the file is retrieved into the spreadsheet or imported into the database table. The key file import options and their associated values are listed in the table below.
Additionally, please note that null field values are represented by the phrase "n.a." You may need to replace all instances of "n.a." with a blank field before importing the data table into your spreadsheet/database.
To Retrieve a Data Table into an ASCII Text Editor or Word-Processing Application
To retrieve the data table into either an ASCII text editor or word-processing application, proceed with the steps that you normally go through to open a text file or document.
If you are retrieving the data table into a word-processing application, you may be prompted to convert the file format. If yes, indicate that you are converting from "ASCII Text."