What does the IMF do?
Collecting and sharing accurate economic information

The IMF in Action: Taking a Member Country's Economic Pulse

A doctor takes the pulse of a country You're at the cash machine getting money for an evening out. The machine spits your card back. "INSUFFICIENT FUNDS TO PROCESS TRANSACTION," flashes on the screen. Surprised? Forgot to balance your checkbook? You didn't have accurate information about your bank account. Now you're stuck borrowing money from a friend.

If you think running out of money is inconvenient, imagine the same problem on a national or even global scale. Investors, bankers, and government policy-makers all hate these kinds of surprises, too. Without up to date economic data, a local problem in one country can cause trouble for other countries that have financial dealings there.

One of the IMF's most important jobs is to conduct an annual "checkup" of the economy of almost all the IMF's member countries. These checkups help uncover issues in a country's economy that other member countries may be unaware of. Sharing accurate, objective information avoids nasty surprises in international trade and monetary exchange. The IMF's reputation and success depends on this open sharing of information.

Become an IMF economist and find out how the IMF evaluates a member country's economy.
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