IMF Statistical Topics
An Update of Methodological Guidelines in Macroeconomic Datasets
Last Updated: July 09, 2004
System of National Accounts
Changes in the economic environment necessitate uptdating the System of National Accounts (1993 SNA) http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/sna to ensure and maintain its relevance. While preserving the conceptual framework and the majority of existing recommendations of the 1993 SNA, the ongoing review of the 1993 SNA focuses on selected issues in the area of non-financial assets, public sector, financial accounts, and the balance of payments. The aim is to publish the 1993 SNA Rev. I by 2008. The Intersecretariat Working Group on National Accounts (ISWGNA) was given the mandate to oversee the update of the 1993 SNA. In this endeavor, the IMF Committee on Balance of Payments Statistics, the Task Force on Harmonization of Public Sector Accounting, the (Canberra II) Group on the Measurement of Non-financial Assets and the electronic discussion groups (EDGs), each in their specific areas of expertise, are playing key roles in the update of the 1993 SNA. The Advisory Expert Group on National Accounts (AEG) to the ISWGNA takes decisions on the scope of the updating and on technical and conceptual issues in conjunction with the ISWGNA. The list of issues to be considered for updating was approved at the first meeting of the AEG in February 2004.
Balance of Payments and International Investment Position
At its meeting in December 2003, the IMF Committee on Balance of Payments Statistics discussed, among other things, the revision to the fifth edition of the Balance of Payments Manual (BPM5). In addition to reviewing the IMF's proposals, contained in the Revision of the Balance of Payments Manual, Fifth Edition: Annotated Outline, April 2004 the Committee agreed to the creation of three technical expert groups (TEGs): Balance of Payments Technical Expert Group, Currency Union Technical Expert Group and the Direct Investment Technical Expert Group. The update of BPM5 is being conducted in parallel with the review of the System of National Accounts 1993. The intent is to maintain the harmonization between balance of payments and national accounts.
Government Finance Statistics and Other Public Sector Statistics
Task Force on the Harmonization of the Public Sector Accounting
The international Task Force on Harmonization of Public Sector Accounting (TFHPSA) works at enhancing harmonization between statistical guidelines and accounting standards, and at updating statistical guidelines for the public sector. The TFHPSA was created in 2003 and is the first formal initiative at the international level that attempts to harmonize public sector statistical guidelines and accounting. It is also the forum that provides guidance in the area of public sector statistics for the forthcoming update of the System of National Accounts 1993. The TFHPSA, which is chaired by the IMF, operates on the basis of two working groups (WGs), with WGI, chaired by the International Federation of Accountants─Public Sector Committee (IFAC─PSC), that focuses on harmonization of statistical and accounting standards; and WGII, chaired by the OECD that also acts as secretariat to the TFHPSA. The task force membership includes national statisticians and public sector accountants, and international agencies (European Central Bank, Eurostat, International Monetary Fund, IFAC─PSC, OECD, World Bank).
Canberra II Group on the Measurement of Non-Financial Assets
Canberra II is focussed on the update of the System of National Accounts 1993 in respect of non-financial assets.
Nonperforming Loans in Macroeconomic Statistics-An Online Discussion
(Chaired by the IMF Statistics Department)
With the current criteria used in the System of National Accounts 1993 (1993 SNA), the existence of nonperforming loans is not reflected in either the flow accounts or balance sheets. The purpose of the EDG is to determine if additional criteria (to those currently in the 1993 SNA) should be applied to the treatment of nonperforming loans and to make sure that they are consistent with the other major macroeconomic statistical systems (balance of payments, government finance, and money and banking statistics).
Pension Schemes in Macroeconomic Statistics-An Online Discussion
(Chaired by the IMF Statistics Department)
Pension obligations or promises made by government, which have the potential of exerting pressure on government finance, have been the subject of increased focus in assessing medium-to long-term fiscal sustainability. The System of National Accounts 1993 (SNA 1993), while making a distinction between social security schemes and employer insurance schemes, and among the latter between funded and unfunded schemes, in several cases does not recognize pension obligations as liabilities of the schemes and financial assets of the beneficiaries respectively. This is notably true for many pension schemes set up by government units. The purpose of the EDG is to explore alternative ways of recording and to identify the most appropriate treatment of such pension schemes in macroeconomic statistical systems.
Other EDG Electronic Discussion Groups on National Accounts (EDG)
Treatment of ancillary units (Chaired by the UN Statistical Division)
Treatment of the informal sector (Chaired by the UN Statistical Division)
Treatment of illegal and underground activities (Chaired by the UN Statistical Division)
Treatment of share options (Chaired by the OECD)
EDG on on Capital Stocks, Capital Services and Intangibles in the
National Accounts (chaired by the OECD , access through prior registration email@example.com)
EDG on Financial Services in the National Accounts (chaired by the OECD, access through prior registration)
EDG on Software (chaired by the OECD , access through prior registration with firstname.lastname@example.org )
EDG on measurement of non-life insurance services (chaired by the OECD , access through prior registration with email@example.com
Treatment of nominal holding gains and interest on financial assets - closed
Cost of Transferring ownership of assets - closed
How to treat interest in macroeconomic statistics that record transactions on an accrual basis - closed