IMF Urges Closer Cooperation Between Statistics Agencies

AKP Phnom Penh, October 31, 2020 —

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says closer cooperation between statistics-producing agencies in Cambodia is “essential” to improve the quality of macroeconomic statistics.

In a statement released in Washington Friday, the IMF said the Ministry of Economics and Finance, the National Institute of Statistics (NIS), the Council for the Development of Cambodia and the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) agreed on the need for enhanced cooperation.

The statement said the agreement was reached during an inter-agency workshop on data consistency in macroeconomic statistics held in December last year.

An IMF mission to Cambodia recommended that agencies agree on a common institutional table listing all general government and public sector units, the statement said.

The mission called for government finance statistics with data on general government to be reconciled with other macroeconomic datasets.

It also recommended that inter-agency cooperation be formalised by establishing a working group with a formal memorandum of understanding.

“Concerted efforts are needed to regularly review inconsistencies and reconcile (government finance statistics) with statistics compiled by the NBC and the NIS,” the statement said.

“Discrepancies between macroeconomic datasets usually occur because of differences in coverage and sectorisation, classification, valuation, and time of recording.”

“As possible first steps, the coverage of general government and public sector units should be coordinated between all statistics producing agencies.”

The IMF said it proposed “basic reconciliation tables” for general government data.

Such data could be provided through Cambodia’s national accounts, balance of payments, international investment position, and monetary and financial statistics to support further discussion on data consistency, it said.

The IMF said last year’s workshop was part of a Japan-funded statistics project for nine Asian countries — Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Mongolia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

By Sao Da