Joint BIS-IMF-OECD-World Bank statistics on external debt

30 November 1999

Press release

On 30 November 1999 the BIS, the IMF, the OECD and the World Bank jointly published the fourth in a new series of quarterly releases of statistics on the external debt of 176 developing and transition countries, together with data on international reserves. The publication lag for this release has been shortened by two weeks compared to the last issue. The publication is available on the BIS website at:

http://www.bis.org/publ/r_debt.htm

and also at the other agencies' websites. Release of the data on an online database enables longer time series to be provided and allows users to manipulate the figures.

The statistics are mostly drawn from creditor and market sources, but also include data provided by debtor countries themselves. Although the data do not provide an absolutely comprehensive and consistent measure of total external debt in each country, they bring together the best international comparative data currently available in this area.

The coverage, definitions and limitations are explained in a methodological note on the website. The figures cover essentially all countries and territories on the list of aid recipients of the Development Assistance Committee of the OECD, including practically all non-OECD countries, as well as the Czech Republic, Hungary, Korea, Mexico, Poland and Turkey. Data for offshore financial centres are presented separately.

This publication is part of an evolutionary process. The contributing institutions are currently working on improving the comprehensiveness, quality and timeliness of the statistics.