Belgium Adheres to the IMF's Special Data Dissemination Standard Plus

January 26, 2023

Washington, DC: Belgium has adhered to the IMF’s Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS) Plus, the highest tier of the IMF’s Data Standards Initiatives. It is the 30th country to achieve this milestone in data transparency.

By adhering to the SDDS Plus, Belgium complies with the most rigorous standards for disseminating essential macroeconomic and financial data about the state of the economy and its financial linkages as established in the IMF Data Standards Initiatives. It is a strong testament to the country’s commitment to data transparency vis-à-vis the public, markets, and the international community, which, among other benefits, fosters efficiency in markets, better policies and greater accountability in policymaking, and richer and well-informed debate and analysis of the country’s economic policy issues.

Compared to Belgium’s previous commitments under the SDDS, this upgrade to SDDS Plus, results in the regular dissemination of new data categories on general government operations and debt, financial soundness indicators, sectoral balance sheets, and debt securities, to name a few, and more granular information made available on several data categories which Belgium already provided under the SDDS. On the National Summary Data Page (NSDP), where all data is disseminated, users can also find the up-to-date description of each data category, called metadata, which provides a standardized framework to assess data quality, making cross-country comparability easier. All the data series are also available in a machine-readable format for automated transmission of data, which greatly facilitates data dissemination.

Bert Kroese, Chief Statistician and Data Officer, and Director of the IMF’s Statistics Department, welcomed Belgium’s adherence and noted that “the dissemination of the new data sets under the SDDS Plus will foster a more informed assessments of the performance of Belgium’s macroeconomic conditions and the cross-border financial linkages.”

The IMF Data Standards Initiatives were established in the mid-1990s to enhance member countries’ data transparency as a global public good and promote the development of sound statistical systems. The need for data dissemination standards was highlighted by the financial crises of the mid and late 1990s when information deficiencies were seen to play a role. The significant progress made by a number of SDDS countries to adhere to the SDDS Plus since 2015 was acknowledged by the IMF Executive Board in its latest review of the Data Standards Initiatives, encouraging more countries to make the transition.

In addition to the SDDS Plus, the Data Standards Initiatives include the SDDS and the Enhanced General Data Dissemination System (e-GDDS). Detailed information on the Data Standards Initiatives can be found on the IMF’s Dissemination Standards Bulletin Board. Belgium’s SDDS Plus data, including an advance release calendar, are also accessible through the IMF’s Dissemination Standards Bulletin Board.

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