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Data Availability

In addition to its work on methodological standards, the TFFS endeavors to promote availability of data on external debt by redisseminating through online databases selected data produced by its member organizations on economies’ financial stocks outstanding.

The Quarterly External Debt Statistics Database

The Quarterly External Debt Statistics Database (QEDS) was launched in November 2004 initially for Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS) subscribing economies. The database was expanded to a selected number of General Data Dissemination System (GDDS) economies in February 2008, mainly Low-Income Countries (LICs). For more information on the SDDS and GDDS, please refer to the following page: Data quality.

The QEDS database, jointly developed by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), brings together detailed external debt data reported by economies that subscribe to the IMF’s SDDS and economies that participate in the IMF's GDDS. Specific country notes are also available on the website. The benefit of bringing together comparable external debt data is to facilitate macroeconomic analysis and cross-country data comparison. The database is updated quarterly within one month of the end of a quarter.

As of May 2010, 62 economies have agreed to participate in the SDDS/QEDS database and 43 GDDS economies to provide data to the GDDS/QEDS database. The IMF and the World Bank are encouraging additional GDDS countries to participate in the centralized database; they are supported in this effort by the Commonwealth Secretariat (ComSec) and the United Nations Commission on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) who have close contacts with over 115 economies in respect with their work on debt management and reporting.

The Joint External Debt Hub

The Joint External Debt Hub (JEDH) launched in March 2006 was developed in cooperation among the IMF, the BIS, the OECD, and the World Bank. The JEDH brings together national external debt data provided by SDDS subscribers and GDDS participants; creditor/market sourced external debt and selected foreign assets data for over 200 economies; and associated metadata for the two sets of statistics. The national external debt data are sourced from the World Bank's QEDS database, and the creditor/market data are sourced by the four agencies involved.

The creditor/market include data collected by the BIS from the Berne Union (a worldwide association of export credit and investment insurers) on insured export credit commitments, as well as from the Paris-Club on the external claims of its members. These data cover the external debt of developed, developing, and transition economies, and also include statistics on selected foreign assets, including international reserves. Although the data do not provide a completely comprehensive and consistent measure of total external debt for each economy, they bring together the best international comparative data currently available in this area.

Methodological notes (metadata) available on the website explain the coverage, definitions and limitations of the data. The website also contains background information on the data series and their sources.

Additional Information

Users may also find it useful to access the following websites for additional perspectives on elements presented in the JEDH:

Public Sector Debt Database

The Public Sector Debt Statistics (PSDS) database, jointly developed by the World Bank and the IMF and launched in December 2010, brings together detailed quarterly public sector debt data of selected countries, initially mainly developing /emerging market economies. The main purpose of the PSDS database is to facilitate timely dissemination in standard formats of public sector debt data. By bringing such data and metadata together in one central location, the database supports macroeconomic analysis and cross-country comparison.

The participation of countries in this centralized database is voluntary. The database is updated quarterly and within one month of the end of a quarter. These databases aim to support countries' efforts toward improving the coverage and availability of public sector debt data.

The PSDS database includes country and cross-country tables, and enables users to query and extract data, by country, group of countries, and specific public debt components. The PSDS database is linked to the Public Sector Debt Guide produced by the IMF in conjunction with other TFFS members.