China adopts IMF statistical benchmark to improve transparency

Thursday, Oct 8, 2015,13:24 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

Beijing |China will confirm to the latest statistical standards set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to improve transparency and remove scepticism about the economic data provided by the world’s second largest economy, especially in the backdrop of global concerns over the slowdown of its economy. After approval from the cabinet, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) Governor Zhou Xiaochuan informed IMF of its decision to conform to the Special Data Dissemination Standards (SDDS) of the IMF, the bank announced today. 

Since 2002, China has used the General Data Dissemination System (GDDS), which the IMF set up in December 1997 to provide a framework for countries to adapt and improve their statistical systems. The GDDS applies to all IMF members, while the SDDS applies to member countries that have or are seeking access to international markets. The SDDS was started by the IMF in 1996 to help it gain access to regular economic and financial statistics and assist participating countries in crafting updated economic policies and gaining access to financial markets.
The move came amid global concerns over slowdown of China’s economy which is having a cascading effect on the global economy. According to IMF, China’s growth is expected to slow from 7.3 per cent in 2014 to 6.8 per cent this year and 6.3 per cent in 2016 as the country struggles with its shift from export to consumption-driven economy. Analysts say SDDS is expected to add more credibility to China’s economic data by removing scepticism about the figures. Chinese President Xi Jinping promised last November at the Brisbane G20 Summit that China would switch to the SDDS. In the past year, China’s central economic agencies have worked to meet the IMF’s SDDS statistics requirements, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
The adoption of SDDS is a necessary step in reform and opening up, which will further improve China’s statistical transparency, credibility and comparability among different economies, the PBOC said. PBOC Deputy Governor Yi Gang and David Lipton, first deputy managing director of the IMF, attended a ceremony to celebrate China’s adoption of the SDDS yesterday in Peruvian capital Lima. At the ceremony, Yi said China and the IMF have been working together to improve China’s statistics for many years, and subscribing to the SDDS is another milestone in the collaboration. The IMF and the US also welcomed the move, calling it an important advance. Adhering to the SDDS shows China’s strong commitment to transparency as well as to the adoption of international best practices in statistics, Lipton said.

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