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Introduction & recommended starting points
Getting current, authoritative economic indicators for a country (or a set of countries) is one of the most common research needs, and a dozen or so publications here answer most of the recurring queries. Far and away our top two statistical publishers are the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, which feature suites of key data products.
The recent World Bank "Open Data" initiative has released scores of datasets and thousands of series for public use.
World Development Indicators (WDI)
The primary World Bank database for development data from officially-recognized international sources is now augmented with external debt and financial flows statistics. This Contains over 1200 series dating as far back as 1960.
Alternative views of World Bank open data come from these new sites.
Portal to open World Bank data series by country, indicator
, and topic
, with expanded content, dynamic graphing, gradient maps, and widgets.
Includes African Development Indicators, Education Statistics, Gender Statistics, Global Economic Monitor, Health Nutrition Population Statistics, Joint External Debt Hub, Millennium Development Goals, Quarterly External Debt Statistics, and more.
Global Economic Monitor (GEM)
Providing daily updates of global economic developments, with coverage of high income as well as developing countries. Daily data updates are provided for exchange rates, equity markets, interest rates, stripped bond spreads, and emerging market bond indices. Monthly data coverage (updated daily and populated upon availability) is provided for consumer prices, high-tech market indicators, industrial production and merchandise trade.
International Monetary Fund
The top IMF data products remain on subscription, although now with an improved, consolidated interface.
IMF eLibrary Data
Carries the flagship International Financial Statistics (IFS) database with exchange rates, balance of payments, money supply, total imports and exports, GDP, and much more. Also with Balance of Payments Statistics (BOPS), Direction of Trade Statistics (DOTS), Government Finance Statistics (GFS), and new foreign investment and financial soundness indicators.
These IMF data products are free.
Primary Commodity Prices
Includes a spreadsheet file (CSV) with monthly data for 8 price indices and 49 actual price series from 1980.
World Economic Outlook Database
The World Economic Outlook (WEO) database contains selected macroeconomic data series from the statistical appendix of the World Economic Outlook
report, which presents IMF analysis and projections of economic developments at the global level, in major country groups, and for many individual countries.
Prospects for Development: World Bank (news feed)
iMFdirect: IMF Global Economy Forum (news feed)
More Global Coverage
Global governance indicators spanning political, market, rule of law, public management, and socioeconomic themes.
EMIS Intelligence (formerly ISI Emerging Markets)
Provides economic studies, company & industry reports, country risk, statistics and political news on emerging market countries. Covers public & private companies & global industry reports. Includes interactive data analysis tools & news alerts. Excellent China coverage.
FAOSTAT (UN Food and Agriculture Organization)
Country food, agriculture, fisheries, land, and foresty statistics, including production, prices, and trade.
Global Financial Data
GFD provides some 6500 historical and current financial and economic data series from over 150 countries. Many series reach back with deep data runs to prior centuries. Easy graphing and downloading is available on the system.
Human Development Indicators (United Nations Development Programme)
Human Development Index, Gender Inequality Index, and Multidimensional Poverty Index composites and components for 195 countries.
ILOSTAT - formerly LABORSTA (International Labour Office)
Includes economically active population, employment and unemployment, hours of work, wages, labor cost, consumer price indices, occupational injuries, strikes and lockouts, household income and expenditure, and international labor migration.
Millennium Development Goals Indicators (United Nations)
This site presents the official data, definitions, methodologies and sources for more than 60 indicators to measure progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDS).
Principal Global Indicators
Economic monitoring tool for G-20 countries, with key monthly, quarterly, and annual series drawn from latest OECD, IMF, and World Bank sources.
Interactive subscription database of OECD books, periodicals, and statistics. Country coverage includes members Mexico, Korea, and Japan. Additional non-member coverage for Brazil, China, Indonesia, India.
Detailed commodity imports and exports statistics by country, 1962-present.
Interactive database for merchandise trade (including by region and by product), international trade in services, foreign direct investment (stocks and flows), national accounts, balance of payments, exchange rates, commodities, debt, development assistance, remittances, international reserves, population and labor force, and maritime transport.
See also their FDI "Country Fact Sheets" with latest data
in ready PDF releases.
"A World of Data." Single search interface for data produced and collected by various United Nations (UN) organizations.
CEPALSTAT (United Nations ECLAC)
Demographic, social, economic, environmental, and related statistics. Includes coverage of Millennium Development Goals (MDG), gender, social cohesion, sustainable development, and information and communication technologies (ICT).
DATAINTAL (Inter-American Development Bank)
Aggregate, bilateral, regional, and product trade flows for Latin America. Coverage begins 1992.
Latin American and Caribbean Macro Watch (Inter-American Development Bank)
Monitored sectors include economic activity and employment, prices and wages, fiscal accounts and public debt, external accounts, money and banking, and financial markets. Coverage begins 1990.
Statistical Database (United Nations ESCAP)
Time series data for selected indicators covering demography, migration, education, health, poverty, gender, employment, economy, government finance, employment, transport, and environment. Includes data visualization features.
Statistical Yearbook for Asia and the Pacific (United Nations ESCAP)
With online chapters (PDF) of their flagship statistical publication (2013 edition).
Statistics Database (World Trade Organization)
Provides country trade, tariff, and services (transportation, telecommunications, finance, insurance) profiles, plus interactive retrieval of international trade statistics.
National statistical offices, central banks, and government ministries in most countries offer varying amounts of official country data online. Use these lists to identify sites across the globe.
International Data (FRED)
Compiled by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. IES simplifies the search for worldwide economic indicators, with links to individual series (such as GDP and CPI) for each country, as well as a detailed description of the data. Descriptions are searchable by title, country, subject, and keyword. The links are checked regularly to maintain accuracy. Indicators are continually added.
Developing Country Surveys and Microdata