Changes to the Database
The European Union added 10 new member nations on May 1, 2004, enlarging the group to a total of 25 countries. The new members are Cyrpus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovak Republic, and Slovenia.
||The former three-way split of the world (advanced economies, developing
countries, and countries in transition) has been revised to classify countries
into two categories: advanced economies and other emerging market and developing
countries. The analytical groups now comprise all countries from the former
developing and transition groups. See the introduction to the Statistical
Appendix for additional details.
||Turkey and Malta are now included in Central and Eastern Europe.
||Timor-Leste, Dem. Rep. of is now included in the WEO database.
||Current account balance projections are now included for all countries.
||The purchasing power parity (PPP) weights have been updated to reflect
the new price surveys using the new benchmark year of 2000. See Box A2 for
No changes were introduced.
Growth and inflation projections for Serbia and Montenegro are included.
Growth and inflation projections are included for all countries through 2003.
Middle East, Malta, and Turkey is replaced by the title Middle East and Turkey. The country composition remains the same.
No changes were introduced.
No changes were introduced.
- Greece is included in the euro area.
- Cyprus is included in Advanced Economies. It was previously included in Middle
East and Europe under Developing Countries.
- Asia is replaced by the title Developing Asia. There is no difference in the
composition of the group.
- Middle East and Europe is replaced by the title Middle East and Turkey. Cyprus is no longer included in the group.
- Two new subgroups comprise Countries in Transition. Commonwealth of Independent
Mongolia replaces Trancaucasus and central Asia and the composition of Central
Eastern Europe has changed: the group no longer includes Moldova and Ukraine. Please
refer to the
introduction to the Statistical Appendix for details on WEO regional and analytical groups.
- Queries about the WEO database should be sent to the e-mail address WEO@IMF.ORG.
Conventions and Data Coverage
This site provides the most frequently requested information from the WEO database consistent
with the data published in the World Economic Outlook.
- The end dates of country-specific series correspond to those
appearing in the WEO
- Series expressed in index form are based on 1995=100 except for the GDP
deflator which is expressed in the base year of each country's national accounts.
- Not all of the data appearing in the WEO publication are disseminated through
- Over time additional data may be released.
- Domestic economy series are expressed in billions of national currency units.
- External accounts series are expressed in billions of U.S. dollars.
- Missing data are indicated by "N/A".
- Unavailable data are indicated by a blank.
Gross Domestic Product, Constant Prices (national currency and annual percent change)
Real GDP is expressed in billions of national currency units; the base year
is country-specific. Annual percentages of constant price GDP are year-on-year changes.
Gross Domestic Product, Current Prices (national currency)
- Data through 1991 apply to west Germany only.
- For developing countries, figures for recent years are IMF staff estimates. Data for some
countries are for fiscal years.
- For a number of central and eastern European and CIS countries data refer to real net material product (NMP)
or are estimates based on NMP. For many countries, figures for recent years are IMF staff
estimates. The figures should be interpreted only as indicative of broad orders of magnitude
because reliable, comparable data are not generally available. In particular, the growth of output
of new private enterprises or of the informal economy is not fully reflected in the recent
- Group aggregates are available in growth rate form only because aggregates
are created from percent changes rather than levels.
GDP is expressed in billions of national currency units.
The last available year is consistent with that which appears for GDP in constant prices in the
statistical tables in the WEO publication.
Gross Domestic Product, Current Prices (U.S. dollars)
Values are based upon GDP in national currency and the exchange rate
projections provided by country economists for the group of other emerging market and developing countries.
Exchanges rates for advanced economies are established in the WEO assumptions for each
Per Capita Gross Domestic Product, Constant Prices (national currency per person)
GDP is expressed in constant national currency per person. Data are derived by dividing
constant price GDP by total population.
Per Capita Gross Domestic Product, Current Prices (national currency per person)
GDP is expressed in current national currency per person. Data are derived by dividing current
price GDP by total population.
Per Capita Gross Domestic Product, Current Prices (U.S. dollars per person)
GDP is expressed in current U.S. dollars per person. Data are derived by first converting GDP in
national currency to U.S. dollars and then dividing it by total population. The last available
year is consistent with that which appears for GDP in the statistical tables of the WEO
GDP Deflator (index and annual percent change)
The GDP deflator is derived by dividing current price GDP by constant price GDP and is considered to be an alternate
measure of inflation.
- Data are expressed in the base year of each country's national accounts. Please refer to the country information file for details.
- Japan: annual data are calculated from seasonally adjusted quarterly data.
Output Gap (ratio to potential GDP)
Output gaps for advanced economies are calculated as actual GDP less potential GDP as a percent of potential GDP.
Estimates of output gaps are subject to a significant margin of uncertainty. For a discussion of
approaches to calculating potential output, see Paula R. De Masi, "IMF Estimates of
Potential Output: Theory and Practice," in Staff Studies for the World Economic
Outlook (Washington: IMF, December 1997), pp. 40-46.
- Data through 1991 apply to west Germany only.
Savings and Investment (percent of GDP)
Data are based on individual countries' national accounts statistics. For many countries, the estimates of national saving are built up from national accounts data on gross domestic investment and from balance of payments-based data on net foreign investment.
- Euro area data are calculated from the data of individual member countries.
- Japan's annual data are calculated from seasonally adjusted quarterly
GDP Based on Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) Valuation of Country GDP (U.S. dollars, shares of world total, per capita, and implied exchange rates)
These data form the basis for the country weights used to generate the World Economic
Outlook country group composites for the domestic economy.
Inflation (consumer prices; index and annual percent change)
- The IMF is not a primary source for purchasing power parity (PPP) data. WEO weights
have been created from primary sources and are used solely for purposes of generating country
group composites. For primary source information, please refer to one of the following sources:
the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the World Bank, or the Penn
- For further information see Box A2 in the April 2004 World Economic Outlook, Box 1.2 in the September 2003 World Economic Outlook for a discussion on the measurement of global growth and Box A.1 in the May 2000 World Economic Outlook for a
summary of the revised PPP-based weights, and Annex IV of the May 1993 World Economic
See also Anne Marie Gulde and
Marianne Schulze-Ghattas, "Purchasing Power Parity
Based Weights for the World Economic Outlook," in Staff Studies for the
World Economic Outlook (Washington: IMF, December 1993), pp. 106-23.
Data for inflation are averages for the year, not end-of-period data. The index is based on 1995=100.
Unemployment Rate (percent)
- For many developing countries, figures for recent years are IMF staff estimates. Data for
some countries are for fiscal years.
- For many central and eastern European and CIS countries, inflation for the earlier years is measured on the basis of a
retail price index. Consumer price indices with a broader and more up-to-date coverage are
typically used for more recent years.
- Euro area countries and the United Kingdom: data are based on Eurostat's harmonized index of consumer prices.
- New Zealand: excluding interest rate components.
General Government Fiscal Balances (national currency and ratio to GDP)
- Japan: annual data are calculated from seasonally adjusted quarterly data.
Data are on a national income accounts basis. Please refer to Box A1 in the World Economic Outlook for a summary
of the policy assumptions underlying the projections.
- Australia: data exclude net advances (primarily privatization receipts and net policy-related
- Austria: based on ESA95 methodology, according to which swap income is not included.
- France: data are adjusted for valuation changes of the foreign exchange stabilization fund.
- Ireland: to maintain comparability, data exclude the impact of discharging future pension liabilities of the formerly state-owned telecoms
company at a cost of 1.8 percent of GDP in 1999.
- Korea: data cover the consolidated central government including the social security funds but excluding privatization.
- New Zealand: data include balance of state-owned enterprices but exclude privatization proceeds.
General Government Structural Balances (national currency and ratio to potential GDP)
Data are on a national income accounts basis. The structural budget position is defined as the
actual budget deficit (or surplus) less the effects of cyclical deviations of output from potential
output. Because of the margin of uncertainty that attaches to estimates of cyclical gaps and to tax
and expenditure elasticities with respect to national income, indicators of structural budget
positions should be interpreted as broad orders of magnitude. Moreover, it is important to note
that changes in structural budget balances are not necessarily attributable to policy changes but
may reflect the built-in momentum of existing expenditure programs. In the period beyond that
for which specific consolidation programs exist, it is assumed that the structural deficit remains
- Australia: data exclude commonwealth government privatization receipts.
- Euro area aggregates exclude Luxembourg.
- Data exclude one-off receipts from the sale of mobile telephone licenses equivalent to 2.5 percent of GDP in 2000 for Germany,
0.1 percent of GDP in 2001 and 2002 for France, 1.2 percent of GDP in 2000 for Italy, 2.4 percent of GDP in 2000 for the United Kingdom,
0.1 percent of GDP in 2000 for Spain, 0.7 percent of GDP in 2000 for the Netherlands, 0.2 percent of GDP in 2001 for Belgium, and 0.4 percent
of GDP in 2000 for Austria, 0.3 percent of GDP in 2000 for Portugal, and 0.2 percent of GDP in 2002 for Ireland. Also excludes one-off receipts
from asset sales sizable asset transactions.
- Germany: the estimate of the fiscal impulse for 1995 is affected by the assumption by the
federal government of the debt of the Treuhandanstalt and various other agencies, which were
formerly held outside the general government sector. At the public sector level, there would be
an estimated withdrawal of fiscal impulse amounting to just over 1 percent of GDP.
- New Zealand: data include balance of state-owned enterprises, but exclude privatization proceeds.
- Norway: data exclude oil.
General Government Gross and Net Debt (national currency and ratio to GDP)
Government net debt comprises the stock (at year-end) of all government gross liabilities (both to residents and nonresidents) minus all
government assets (domestic as well as foreign). Gross debt includes government assets. To avoid double counting, the data
are based on a consolidated account (eliminating liabilities and assets between components of the government, such as
budgetary units and social security funds). Net debt of the general government should reflect a consolidated account of central government plus
state, provincial, or local governments.
Net Capital Flows (U.S. dollars)
Net private capital flows comprise net direct investment, net portfolio flows, and other long- and short-term net investment flows including official and private borrowing. Please note: the composition of several of the group aggregates appearing in the table "Emerging Market and Developing Countries:
Net Capital Flows" differs from the standard WEO groups. "Total Emerging Markets" includes developing countries, Hong Kong SAR, Israel, Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan Province of China. The table in Chapter 1 presents the data as follows:
Private capital flows, net
Private direct investment, net
Private portfolio flows, net
Other private capital flows, net
Official flows, net
Change in reserves
- Change in reserves: a minus sign indicates an increase.
- The sum of the current account balance, net private capital flows, net official flows, and the change in reserves equals, with the opposite sign,
the sum of the capital and financial account and errors and omissions.
- "Emerging Asia" includes Hong Kong SAR, Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan Province of China. Excluding the effects of the recapitalization of two large banks in China with foreign reserves of the Bank of China.
- "Middle East" includes Israel.
- Russia : historical data have been revised, reflecting cumulative data revisions and the resolution of a number of data interpretation issues.
External Debt and Debt Service (U.S. dollars, percent of U.S. dollar GDP, and percent of U.S. dollar exports of goods and services)
External debt data are expressed in billions of US dollars and reflect total external debt at year end for the group of other emerging market and developing countries only.
External debt data are not collected for advanced economies.
- Total debt includes all short- and long-term debt.
- Debt-service payments refer to actual payments of interest on total debt plus actual amortization payments on long-term debt.
The projections incorporate the impact of exceptional financing items.
Current Account Balance (U.S. dollars and percent of U.S. dollar GDP)
Balance of payments data are based upon the methodology of the 5th edition of the International Monetary Fund's
Balance of Payments Manual (1993). Data for the world total reflects errors, omissions, and asymmetries in balance of
payments statistics on current account, as well as the exclusion of data for international organizations and a limited number
of countries. Calculated as the sum of the balance of individual countries.
Trade Volumes and Terms of Trade (annual percent change)
- Euro area: calculated as the sum of the balances of individual euro area countries.
Trade volume series represent trade values deflated by the unit value in order to obtain constant price data. Terms of trade series are
derived from the export unit value divided by the import unit value. The base year of the underlying data is 1995.
This file provides information on each country's currency and base year of the national accounts as well as the IMF and ISO country
WEO Groups and Aggregates
The World Economic Outlook divides the world into two major country groups: advanced economies, and other emerging market and developing countries. Rather than being based on strict criteria, economic or otherwise, this classification
has evolved over time with the objective of facilitating analysis by providing a reasonably meaningful organization of data.
A few countries are presently not included in these groups, either because they are not IMF members, and their economies are not
monitored by the IMF, or because databases have not yet been compiled. Cuba and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea are
examples of countries that are not IMF members, whereas San Marino, among the advanced economies, is an example of an economy
for which a database has not been completed. A complete list of the compostion of the Groups is available.
WEO Group Aggregates
Composite data for country groups in the World Economic Outlook are either sums or weighted averages of data for individual countries.
Unless otherwise indicated, multiyear averages of growth rates are expressed as compound annual rates of change. Arithmetically
weighted averages are used for all data except inflation and money growth for the developing and transition country groups, for which
geometric averages are used. The following conventions apply:
Country group composites for exchange rates, interest rates, and the growth rates of monetary aggregates are weighted by GDP
converted to U.S. dollars at market exchange rates (averaged over the preceding three years) as a share of group GDP.
Composites for other data relating to the domestic economy, whether growth
rates or ratios, are weighted by GDP valued at purchasing power parities (PPPs)
as a share of total world or group GDP.
Composites for data relating to the domestic economy for the euro area (12
member countries throughout the entire period unless otherwise noted) are aggregates
of national source data using weights based on 1995 ECU exchange rates.
Composite unemployment rates and employment growth are weighted by labor
force as a share of group labor force.
Composites relating to the external economy are sums of individual country data after conversion to U.S. dollars at the average
market exchange rates in the years indicated for balance of payments data and at end-of-year market exchange rates for debt
denominated in currency other than U.S. dollars. Composites of changes in foreign trade volumes and prices, however, are
arithmetic averages of percentage changes for individual countries weighted by the U.S. dollar value of exports or imports as a
share of total world or group exports or imports (in the preceding year).
For addition detail about each of the series available please refer to Conventions and Data Coverage.
Differences Between the World Economic Outlook Database and International Financial
The data appearing in the World Economic Outlook are provided to the Research
Department at the time of the WEO exercise, not on a continual basis. The historical data and
projections are based upon the information gathered by the IMF country economists in the
context of their missions and ongoing analysis of the evolving situation in member countries;
projections are staff estimates. The data published in the Statistics Department’s
International Financial Statistics are gathered as part of an ongoing
data collection effort in which member country statistical agencies provide public statistics to the
IMF. Because of differences in data collection techniques, methodological issues, focus, and
timing, the data in International Financial Statistics and the World Economic
Outlook may differ.