IMF proposes way to standardise natural resource income data

13 Feb 14
The International Monetary Fund is seeking views on a suggested way of collecting data on government revenues from natural resources.

Its statistics department has developed a draft standard template based on the revenue classifications of the Government finance statistics manual 2001.

According to the IMF, revenue from natural resources such as oil, mining and timber are ‘macro-critical’ for about one third of its members. But these revenues are subject to depletion, as natural resources dwindle, or can fluctuate significantly. ‘Fiscal policies need to consider these issues, which can be better understood by separating revenues from natural resources from other government revenues,’ the IMF said.

However, data on natural resource revenue is currently limited and not comparable across countries.

‘The template would facilitate that collection of such data in an analytically relevant and cross-country comparable format, although the fund does not currently envision collecting these data directly,' the IMF said.

The template has been posted on the IMF’s website for consultation with the international community and countries are invited to start using it to test practical issues.

Any comments should be submitted by April 30.

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