8th IMF Statistical Forum: Measuring the Economics of a Pandemic

November 17-19, 2020

Given the travel restrictions related to COVID-19, we have decided that the IMF 8th Statistical Forum will be virtual this year.

Although the conference will be virtual, we hope to continue to offer lively debates, interactions, and other networking opportunities. The organizing committee is equally committed to preparing a successful forum.

The paper submissions have been very competitive. Based on the already announced preliminary program and the final selection of papers, a draft agenda will be published by mid-September, taking into account the virtual format.

This year’s virtual Statistical Forum will be held over three days, November 17-19, 2020, with only morning sessions (Washington, D.C. time) to overlap as much as possible with different time zones.

Registration will open in September and close on November 16. Stay tuned and visit the Forum’s website for more details.

If you have any questions, please email STAForum@imf.org.

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Agenda

November 17, 2020

Watch Video

8:00 a.m.

Welcoming Remarks

Louis Marc Ducharme, Chief Statistician and Data Officer, and Director, Statistics Department, IMF

8:05 a.m.

Introduction to the Forum

Tao Zhang, Deputy Managing Director, IMF

Session 1: The Economics of a Pandemic: What are the Data Needs?

Historically, crises have shown the importance of data that allow detection of vulnerabilities, assessment of their impact, and implementation of timely and targeted corrective measures. This time, the COVID-19 pandemic has abruptly transformed the economic environment and created unprecedented needs for more timely and granular data, including on socio-economic disruptions linked to the pandemic. This session will consider some emerging data needs for understanding economic and financial developments and vulnerabilities exposed by the pandemic and present examples of new approaches to meeting those data needs.

8:15 a.m.

Introduction by the Chair, Louis Marc Ducharme, Chief Statistician and Data Officer, and Director, Statistics Department, IMF 

8:20 a.m.

Juan Daniel Oviedo, Colombia’s National Administrative Department of Statistics (DANE), DANE’s- Block-by-block Vulnerability Index

Paper | Presentation

8:35 a.m.

Silvia Arini and Rendra Putra, Statistics Indonesia, Evidence of People's Mobility Data towards Economic Activities

Paper | Presentation 

8:50 a.m.

Questions from the audience

9:05 a.m.

Break

9:15 a.m.

Bruno Tissot and Barend De Beer, Bank for International Settlements, Irving Fisher Committee and South African Reserve Bank, Implications of COVID-19 for Official Statistics: A Central Banking Perspective

Paper | Presentation 

9:30 a.m.

Giovanni Veronese, Claudia Biancotti, Alfonso Rosolia, Robert Kirchner, and Francois Mouriaux, Banca d’Italia, Deutsche Bundesbank and Banque de France, COVID-19 and Official Statistics: A Wakeup Call?

Paper | Presentation 

9:45 a.m.

Questions from the audience

November 18, 2020

Session 2: Weathering the Storm: Statistics at the Time of a Pandemic

National statistical offices have previously confronted pandemics (e.g., SARS in 2002 and N1H1 in 2009) and natural disasters that disrupted statistical operations and challenged them to respond to new data needs. However, the disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic are more profound and will likely be longer lasting. At the same time, the pandemic has created opportunities for innovation. How have data compilers overcome the challenges? This session will discuss innovative surveys and techniques for producing and communicating timely and relevant statistics during the pandemic.

Watch Video (Part 1: 8:00 a.m. - 8:50 a.m.)

Watch Video (Part 2: 9:00 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.)

8:00 a.m.

Introduction by the Chair, Ceda Ogada, Secretary of the IMF

8:05 a.m.

Craig McLaren, The United Kingdom’s Office for National Statistics, The United Kingdom experience: The Business Impact of Coronavirus Survey

Paper | Presentation 

8:20 a.m.

Ibrahima Tall, Senegal’s National Agency of Statistics and Demography, Innovative Collection Methods During the COVID-19 Period

Paper | Presentation 

8:35 a.m.

Questions from the audience

8:50 a.m.

Break

9:00 a.m.

Susana Cordeiro Guerra, Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, Sustaining and Modernizing Statistical Production during the COVID-19 Pandemic

9:15 a.m.

Michael Levi and Emily Liddel, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Communicating the Accuracy and Relevance of Statistical Data during a Pandemic: A practitioners’ Report

Paper | Presentation 

9:30 a.m.

Questions from the audience

9:45 a.m.

Break

Special Event: Celebrating the Third World Statistics Day

The World Statistics Day is celebrated on October 20 every five years. Created by the United Nations Statistical Commission, it was first celebrated on October 20, 2010.

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10:00 a.m.

Panel Discussion: Celebrating Statistics: The Science and the Art of Making Numbers Talk

Moderator: Louis Marc Ducharme, Chief Statistician and Data Officer, and Director, Statistics Department, IMF

Panelists:

Ola Awad, President of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics

Rashad Cassim, Deputy Governor of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB); Chair of the Irving Fisher Committee on Central Bank Statistics

Henry Curr, Journalist, lead writer on economics, The Economist

Susana Cordeiro Guerra, President of the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics

Tim Harford, Author “How to Make the World Add Up” & FT Senior Columnist

11:15 a.m.

Questions from the audience

November 19, 2020

Watch Video (Part 1: 8:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.)

Session 3: How Well Statistics are Weathering the Pandemic? Some Examples

This session will provide examples of measuring some key macroeconomic implications of COVID-19 and supplemental indicators that fill gaps in the data needed in light of the pandemic

8:30 a.m.

Introduction by the Chair, Kalpana Kochhar, Director of the Human Resources Department, IMF

8:35 a.m.

Alberto Cavallo, Harvard Business School and NBER, Inflation with COVID-19 Consumption Baskets

Paper | Presentation                    

8:50 a.m.

Marshall Reinsdorf, IMF Statistics Department, COVID-19 and the Weights of the CPI: Is Inflation Underestimated?

Paper | Presentation             

9:05 a.m.

Vivek Pandya and Costa Lasiy, Adobe, Tracking the Impact of COVID-19 on the Online Economy in Real-Time

Paper | Presentation 

9:20 a.m.

Questions from the audience

9:35 a.m.

Break

Special invited speaker
9:45 a.m. Introduction by Louis Marc Ducharme, Chief Statistician and Data Officer, and Director, Statistics Department, IMF
Nouriel Roubini, New York University’s Stern School of Business, Pandemics: Financial Markets versus the Real Economy and the Need for New Data
10:20 a.m. Questions from the audience
10:35 a.m. Break

Session 4: Panel with Forum’s speakers on Q&A

This session will set up a panel with the speakers. It will wrap up taking questions that have been put forward before or during the Forum, either by emailing them to STAForum@imf.org, or through the chat function.

10:45 a.m.

Moderator: Gabriel Quirós-Romero, Deputy Director, Statistics Department, IMF

12:15 p.m.

Break

Session 5: Keynote speech and one-on-one between Ian Goldin and IMF Managing Director

Watch Video

12:30 p.m.

Moderator: Gerry Rice, Director of the Communications Department, IMF

Keynote Speech: Ian Goldin, Professor of Globalization and Development, Oxford University, Economics, Institutions, and Multilateralism: Lessons from COVID-19

1:00 p.m.

One-on-one discussion

Ian Goldin, Professor of Globalization and Development, Oxford University

Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director, IMF

1:45 p.m.

Closure

ORGANIZERS: Gabriel Quirós-Romero and Nabila Akhazzan

E-MAIL: STAForum@imf.org