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IMF Standards for data dissemination

Topics covered:

Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.


IMF Standards for data dissemination


What to study?

For prelims and mains: SDDS- features, need for and significance.


Context: According to the IMF’s “Annual Observance Report of the Special Data Dissemination Standard for 2018”, India failed to comply with multiple requirements prescribed in the Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS).



The yearly observance report for each member country lists the compliances and deviations from the SDDS under each data category for that year. There are over 20 data categories which IMF considers for this report to capture a nation’s economic health including national accounts (GDP, GNI), production indices, employment, and central government operations.

The report lists three types of deviations from SDDS:

  1. The first deals with delays in data dissemination from the periodicity prescribed in the SDDS.
  2. The second occurs when member countries do not list a data category in their Advance Release Calendars (ARC) despite the category being mandated by the SDDS.
  3. The third deviation occurs when data is not disseminated at all for a particular period.


What is Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS)?

The SDDS is a global benchmark for disseminating macroeconomic statistics to the public.

SDDS subscription indicates that a country meets the test of “good statistical citizenship.”

Countries that subscribe to the SDDS agree to follow good practices in four areas: the coverage, periodicity, and timeliness of data; public access to those data; data integrity; and data quality.


SDDS Plus:

  1. The SDDS Plus is the highest tier in the Fund’s Data Standards Initiatives and builds on the progress achieved under the SDDS.
  2. It is open to all SDDS subscribers, although it is aimed at economies with systemically important financial sectors.
  3. In addition to the requirements under the SDDS, the SDDS Plus emphasizes stronger data dissemination practices to enhance data transparency and help strengthen the international financial system. 



Data dissemination standards enhance the availability of timely and comprehensive statistics, which contributes to sound macroeconomic policies and the efficient functioning of financial markets.


Sources: the Hindu.