New Estimates for Direction of Trade Statistics


Marco Marini ; Robert Dippelsman ; Michael Stanger

Publication Date:

January 24, 2018

Electronic Access:

Free Download. Use the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this PDF file

Disclaimer: IMF Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to encourage debate. The views expressed in IMF Working Papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF management.


In March 2017, the IMF published an upgrade of its Direction of Trade Statistics (DOTS) dataset. This paper documents the new methodology that has been developed to estimate missing observations of bilateral trade statistics on a monthly basis. The new estimation procedure is founded on a benchmarking method that produces monthly estimates based on official trade statistics by partner country reported at different times and frequencies. In this paper we describe the new estimation methodology. Additional data sources have also been incorporated. We also assess the impact of the new estimates on trade measurement in DOTS at global, regional, and country-specific levels. Finally, we suggest some developments of DOTS to strenghten its relevance for IMF bilateral and multilateral surveillance.


Working Paper No. 2018/016



Publication Date:

January 24, 2018



Stock No:




Please address any questions about this title to