World Economic Outlook Text, September 2004

World Economic Outlook Databases

About the WEO Database

Changes to the Database

Conventions and Data Coverage

Country Information

Groups and Aggregates

WEO vs. IFS



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   WORLD ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL SURVEYS
World Economic Outlook
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September 2004

 
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About The World Economic Outlook Database

The World Economic Outlook (WEO) database is created during the biannual WEO exercise, which begins in January and June of each year and results in the April and September WEO publication. Selected series from the publication are released on this website on the day of the WEO press conference.

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 IMF's country economists on the basis of internationally consistent assumptions about world economic activity, exchange rates, and conditions in international financial and commodity markets. Advanced economies and the largest developing countries which account for 90 percent of world output provide a full set of projections for each WEO exercise. Most smaller countries provide updates of key variables for each WEO exercise and a full set of projections at the time of the IMF's regular Article IV consultations with member countries unless world developments necessitate more frequent updates.



Changes to the Database

September 2004
The European Union added 10 new member nations on May 1, 2004, enlarging the group to a total of 25 countries. The new members are Cyrpus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovak Republic, and Slovenia.

April 2004
  • The former three-way split of the world (advanced economies, developing countries, and countries in transition) has been revised to classify countries into two categories: advanced economies and other emerging market and developing countries. The analytical groups now comprise all countries from the former developing and transition groups. See the introduction to the Statistical Appendix for additional details.
  • Turkey and Malta are now included in Central and Eastern Europe.
  • Timor-Leste, Dem. Rep. of is now included in the WEO database.
  • Current account balance projections are now included for all countries.
  • The purchasing power parity (PPP) weights have been updated to reflect the new price surveys using the new benchmark year of 2000. See Box A2 for additional details.

    September 2003
    No changes were introduced.

    April 2003
    Growth and inflation projections for Serbia and Montenegro are included.

    September 2002
    Growth and inflation projections are included for all countries through 2003.

    May 2002
    Middle East, Malta, and Turkey is replaced by the title Middle East and Turkey. The country composition remains the same.

    December 2001
    No changes were introduced.

    October 2001
    No changes were introduced.

    May 2001

    1. Greece is included in the euro area.
    2. Cyprus is included in Advanced Economies. It was previously included in Middle East and Europe under Developing Countries.
    3. Asia is replaced by the title Developing Asia. There is no difference in the composition of the group.
    4. Middle East and Europe is replaced by the title Middle East and Turkey. Cyprus is no longer included in the group.
    5. Two new subgroups comprise Countries in Transition. Commonwealth of Independent States and Mongolia replaces Trancaucasus and central Asia and the composition of Central and Eastern Europe has changed: the group no longer includes Moldova and Ukraine. Please refer to the introduction to the Statistical Appendix for details on WEO regional and analytical groups.
    6. Queries about the WEO database should be sent to the e-mail address WEO@IMF.ORG.

    Conventions and Data Coverage

    This site provides the most frequently requested information from the WEO database consistent with the data published in the World Economic Outlook.

    Please note:

    • The end dates of country-specific series correspond to those appearing in the WEO
      publication.
    • Series expressed in index form are based on 1995=100 except for the GDP deflator which is expressed in the base year of each country's national accounts.
    • Not all of the data appearing in the WEO publication are disseminated through this site.
    • Over time additional data may be released.

    Data Conventions

    • Domestic economy series are expressed in billions of national currency units.
    • External accounts series are expressed in billions of U.S. dollars.
    • Missing data are indicated by "N/A".
    • Unavailable data are indicated by a blank.
    Data Coverage

    Gross Domestic Product, Constant Prices (national currency and annual percent change)
    Real GDP is expressed in billions of national currency units; the base year is country-specific. Annual percentages of constant price GDP are year-on-year changes.

    Please note:

    1. Data through 1991 apply to west Germany only.
    2. For developing countries, figures for recent years are IMF staff estimates. Data for some countries are for fiscal years.
    3. For a number of central and eastern European and CIS countries data refer to real net material product (NMP) or are estimates based on NMP. For many countries, figures for recent years are IMF staff estimates. The figures should be interpreted only as indicative of broad orders of magnitude because reliable, comparable data are not generally available. In particular, the growth of output of new private enterprises or of the informal economy is not fully reflected in the recent figures.
    4. Group aggregates are available in growth rate form only because aggregates are created from percent changes rather than levels.

    Gross Domestic Product, Current Prices (national currency)
    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.

    Gross Domestic Product, Current Prices (U.S. dollars)
    Values are based upon GDP in national currency and the exchange rate projections provided by country economists for the group of other emerging market and developing countries. Exchanges rates for advanced economies are established in the WEO assumptions for each WEO exercise.

    Per Capita Gross Domestic Product, Constant Prices (national currency per person)
    GDP is expressed in constant national currency per person. Data are derived by dividing constant price GDP by total population.

    Per Capita Gross Domestic Product, Current Prices (national currency per person)
    GDP is expressed in current national currency per person. Data are derived by dividing current price GDP by total population.

    Per Capita Gross Domestic Product, Current Prices (U.S. dollars per person)
    GDP is expressed in current U.S. dollars per person. Data are derived by first converting GDP in national currency to U.S. dollars and then dividing it by total population. The last available year is consistent with that which appears for GDP in the statistical tables of the WEO publication.

    GDP Deflator (index and annual percent change)
    The GDP deflator is derived by dividing current price GDP by constant price GDP and is considered to be an alternate measure of inflation.

    Please note:

    1. Data are expressed in the base year of each country's national accounts. Please refer to the country information file for details.
    2. Japan: annual data are calculated from seasonally adjusted quarterly data.

    Output Gap (ratio to potential GDP)
    Output gaps for advanced economies 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.

    Please note:

    1. Data through 1991 apply to west Germany only.

    Savings and Investment (percent of GDP)

    Data are based on individual countries' national accounts statistics. For many countries, the estimates of national saving are built up from national accounts data on gross domestic investment and from balance of payments-based data on net foreign investment.

    Please note:

    1. Euro area data are calculated from the data of individual member countries.
    2. Japan's annual data are calculated from seasonally adjusted quarterly data.

    GDP Based on Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) Valuation of Country GDP (U.S. dollars, shares of world total, per capita, and implied exchange rates)
    These data form the basis for the country weights used to generate the World Economic Outlook country group composites for the domestic economy. Please note:

    1. The IMF is not a primary source for purchasing power parity (PPP) data. WEO weights have been created from primary sources and are used solely for purposes of generating country group composites. For primary source information, please refer to one of the following sources: the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the World Bank, or the Penn World Tables.
    2. For further information see Box A2 in the April 2004 World Economic Outlook, Box 1.2 in the September 2003 World Economic Outlook for a discussion on the measurement of global growth and Box A.1 in the May 2000 World Economic Outlook for a summary of the revised PPP-based weights, and Annex IV of the May 1993 World Economic Outlook. See also Anne Marie Gulde and Marianne Schulze-Ghattas, "Purchasing Power Parity Based Weights for the World Economic Outlook," in Staff Studies for the World Economic Outlook (Washington: IMF, December 1993), pp. 106-23.

    Inflation (consumer prices; index and annual percent change)
    Data for inflation are averages for the year, not end-of-period data. The index is based on 1995=100.

    Please note:

    1. For many developing countries, figures for recent years are IMF staff estimates. Data for some countries are for fiscal years.
    2. For many central and eastern European and CIS countries, inflation for the earlier years is measured on the basis of a retail price index. Consumer price indices with a broader and more up-to-date coverage are typically used for more recent years.
    3. Euro area countries and the United Kingdom: data are based on Eurostat's harmonized index of consumer prices.
    4. New Zealand: excluding interest rate components.

    Unemployment Rate (percent)
    Please note:
    1. Japan: annual data are calculated from seasonally adjusted quarterly data.
    General Government Fiscal Balances (national currency and ratio to GDP)
    Data are on a national income accounts basis. Please refer to Box A1 in the World Economic Outlook for a summary of the policy assumptions underlying the projections.

    Please note:

    1. Australia: data exclude net advances (primarily privatization receipts and net policy-related lending).
    2. Austria: based on ESA95 methodology, according to which swap income is not included.
    3. France: data are adjusted for valuation changes of the foreign exchange stabilization fund.
    4. Ireland: to maintain comparability, data exclude the impact of discharging future pension liabilities of the formerly state-owned telecoms company at a cost of 1.8 percent of GDP in 1999.
    5. Korea: data cover the consolidated central government including the social security funds but excluding privatization.
    6. New Zealand: data include balance of state-owned enterprices but exclude privatization proceeds.

    General Government Structural Balances (national currency and ratio to potential GDP)
    Data are on a national income accounts basis. The structural budget position is defined as the actual budget deficit (or surplus) less the effects of cyclical deviations of output from potential output. Because of the margin of uncertainty that attaches to estimates of cyclical gaps and to tax and expenditure elasticities with respect to national income, indicators of structural budget positions should be interpreted as broad orders of magnitude. Moreover, it is important to note that changes in structural budget balances are not necessarily attributable to policy changes but may reflect the built-in momentum of existing expenditure programs. In the period beyond that for which specific consolidation programs exist, it is assumed that the structural deficit remains unchanged.

    Please note:

    1. Australia: data exclude commonwealth government privatization receipts.
    2. Euro area aggregates exclude Luxembourg.
    3. Data exclude one-off receipts from the sale of mobile telephone licenses equivalent to 2.5 percent of GDP in 2000 for Germany, 0.1 percent of GDP in 2001 and 2002 for France, 1.2 percent of GDP in 2000 for Italy, 2.4 percent of GDP in 2000 for the United Kingdom, 0.1 percent of GDP in 2000 for Spain, 0.7 percent of GDP in 2000 for the Netherlands, 0.2 percent of GDP in 2001 for Belgium, and 0.4 percent of GDP in 2000 for Austria, 0.3 percent of GDP in 2000 for Portugal, and 0.2 percent of GDP in 2002 for Ireland. Also excludes one-off receipts from asset sales sizable asset transactions.
    4. Germany: the estimate of the fiscal impulse for 1995 is affected by the assumption by the federal government of the debt of the Treuhandanstalt and various other agencies, which were formerly held outside the general government sector. At the public sector level, there would be an estimated withdrawal of fiscal impulse amounting to just over 1 percent of GDP.
    5. New Zealand: data include balance of state-owned enterprises, but exclude privatization proceeds.
    6. Norway: data exclude oil.

    General Government Gross and Net Debt (national currency and ratio to GDP)
    Government net debt comprises the stock (at year-end) of all government gross liabilities (both to residents and nonresidents) minus all government assets (domestic as well as foreign). Gross debt includes government assets. To avoid double counting, the data are based on a consolidated account (eliminating liabilities and assets between components of the government, such as budgetary units and social security funds). Net debt of the general government should reflect a consolidated account of central government plus state, provincial, or local governments.

    Net Capital Flows (U.S. dollars)
    Net private capital flows comprise net direct investment, net portfolio flows, and other long- and short-term net investment flows including official and private borrowing. Please note: the composition of several of the group aggregates appearing in the table "Emerging Market and Developing Countries: Net Capital Flows" differs from the standard WEO groups. "Total Emerging Markets" includes developing countries, Hong Kong SAR, Israel, Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan Province of China. The table in Chapter 1 presents the data as follows:

      Private capital flows, net
      Private direct investment, net
      Private portfolio flows, net
      Other private capital flows, net
      Official flows, net
      Change in reserves
      Memorandum
      Current account

    Please note:

    1. Change in reserves: a minus sign indicates an increase.
    2. The sum of the current account balance, net private capital flows, net official flows, and the change in reserves equals, with the opposite sign, the sum of the capital and financial account and errors and omissions.
    3. "Emerging Asia" includes Hong Kong SAR, Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan Province of China. Excluding the effects of the recapitalization of two large banks in China with foreign reserves of the Bank of China.
    4. "Middle East" includes Israel.
    5. Russia : historical data have been revised, reflecting cumulative data revisions and the resolution of a number of data interpretation issues.

    External Debt and Debt Service (U.S. dollars, percent of U.S. dollar GDP, and percent of U.S. dollar exports of goods and services)
    External debt data are expressed in billions of US dollars and reflect total external debt at year end for the group of other emerging market and developing countries only. External debt data are not collected for advanced economies.

    Please note:

    1. Total debt includes all short- and long-term debt.
    2. Debt-service payments refer to actual payments of interest on total debt plus actual amortization payments on long-term debt. The projections incorporate the impact of exceptional financing items.

    Current Account Balance (U.S. dollars and percent of U.S. dollar GDP)
    Balance of payments data are based upon the methodology of the 5th edition of the International Monetary Fund's Balance of Payments Manual (1993). Data for the world total reflects errors, omissions, and asymmetries in balance of payments statistics on current account, as well as the exclusion of data for international organizations and a limited number of countries. Calculated as the sum of the balance of individual countries.

    Please note:

    1. Euro area: calculated as the sum of the balances of individual euro area countries.
    Trade Volumes and Terms of Trade (annual percent change)
    Trade volume series represent trade values deflated by the unit value in order to obtain constant price data. Terms of trade series are derived from the export unit value divided by the import unit value. The base year of the underlying data is 1995.


    Country Information

    This file provides information on each country's currency and base year of the national accounts as well as the IMF and ISO country codes.


    WEO Groups and Aggregates

    The World Economic Outlook divides the world into two major country groups: advanced economies, and other emerging market and developing countries. Rather than being based on strict criteria, economic or otherwise, this classification has evolved over time with the objective of facilitating analysis by providing a reasonably meaningful organization of data. A few countries are presently not included in these groups, either because they are not IMF members, and their economies are not monitored by the IMF, or because databases have not yet been compiled. Cuba and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea are examples of countries that are not IMF members, whereas San Marino, among the advanced economies, is an example of an economy for which a database has not been completed. A complete list of the compostion of the Groups is available.

    WEO Group Aggregates

    Composite data for country groups in the World Economic Outlook are either sums or weighted averages of data for individual countries. Unless otherwise indicated, multiyear averages of growth rates are expressed as compound annual rates of change. Arithmetically weighted averages are used for all data except inflation and money growth for the developing and transition country groups, for which geometric averages are used. The following conventions apply:

    • Country group composites for exchange rates, interest rates, and the growth rates of monetary aggregates are weighted by GDP converted to U.S. dollars at market exchange rates (averaged over the preceding three years) as a share of group GDP.

    • Composites for other data relating to the domestic economy, whether growth rates or ratios, are weighted by GDP valued at purchasing power parities (PPPs) as a share of total world or group GDP.

    • Composites for data relating to the domestic economy for the euro area (12 member countries throughout the entire period unless otherwise noted) are aggregates of national source data using weights based on 1995 ECU exchange rates.

    • Composite unemployment rates and employment growth are weighted by labor force as a share of group labor force.

    • Composites relating to the external economy are sums of individual country data after conversion to U.S. dollars at the average market exchange rates in the years indicated for balance of payments data and at end-of-year market exchange rates for debt denominated in currency other than U.S. dollars. Composites of changes in foreign trade volumes and prices, however, are arithmetic averages of percentage changes for individual countries weighted by the U.S. dollar value of exports or imports as a share of total world or group exports or imports (in the preceding year). For addition detail about each of the series available please refer to Conventions and Data Coverage.


    Differences Between the World Economic Outlook Database and 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 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 are gathered as part of an ongoing data collection effort in which member country statistical agencies provide public statistics to the IMF. Because of differences in data collection techniques, methodological issues, focus, and timing, the data in International Financial Statistics and the World Economic Outlook may differ.