Monthly Bulletin of Statistics Online

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Purpose

The Monthly Bulletin of Statistics Online presents current economic and social statistics for more than 200 countries and territories of the world. It contains 55 tables, comprising over 100 indicators, of monthly, quarterly and annual data on a variety of subjects illustrating important economic trends and developments, including population, industrial production indices, price indices, employment and earnings, energy, manufacturing, transport, construction, international merchandise trade, finance and national accounts.

For more than 80 years, the Monthly Bulletin of Statistics has been published by the United Nations Statistics Division and previously by the League of Nations.

Sources

The statistics appearing in the Bulletin are obtained by the Statistics Division of the United Nations and the international statistical services from official sources in the countries. International sources for the Bulletin include the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, International Civil Aviation Organization, International Civil Service Commission, International Labour Office and the International Monetary Fund.

To access countries’ or areas’ national statistical office websites for more information, please follow this link.

Comparability of the data

Data definitions are provided for the statistical terms in the tables. These present the internationally recommended statistical terms and definitions in current use. Where individual series differ fundamentally from the descriptions in the note, the differences are indicated in footnotes.

Schedule of updates

In general, the data for the tables to be published in the current month's print edition are updated by the 8th working day of the following month, i.e. data to be published in the January print version of the MBS are updated in the MBS Online by the 8th working day of February. Some data, such as those on the Consumer price index, may be updated more often during the month with data that will appear in the upcoming printed edition. For a detailed list of the schedule of updates, please click on the following link.

Time period

The statistics are presented in the form of time series. In many tables the figures are given for the past five years and for the most recent 18 months. For some series there may be longer time series data, for example monthly data. For other series, such as the consumer price index, the data in the MBS online have the same time periods as the print version of the MBS. In general, the annual figures are expressed as monthly averages; exceptions (e.g. most of the tables under the International Merchandise Trade and Finance Sections) are indicated.

For some series, such as the consumer price index, data from previous print editions of the MBS might no longer be compatible with the current data in the print and online versions of the MBS, as there may have been revisions or changes that affected the data (for example, change in the base year for an index, change in the geographical coverage, etc.).

Data selection

The MBS Online Data selection screens provide the users with data selection functions and technical notes. To retrieve data, select countries/areas and table or series by clicking on the item (use CTRL-Click for multiple selections) and then Click the "Get data" button. To access the technical notes associated with a series or notes on countries/areas, select one country or table/series and then Click the "Get notes" button.

Graphs Click here to chart series

Once the data are retrieved, click on the graph icon to produce a simple graphical depiction of that data.

Downloading data

To download your data query, click "Download". The data can be downloaded in Microsoft Excel Comma Separated Values (.csv) or as an XML file. This file can be opened with Microsoft Excel, imported into databases or opened by applications such as SAS, SPSS etc.

Technical requirements

Internet browser: The Monthly Bulletin of Statistics website is known to be fully functional with the recent editions of Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox, and is expected to run smoothly on other popular browsers as well.

Java: For graphs to be properly displayed, Java must be enabled on the browser. If the graphs cannot be seen, the Java Virtual Machine should be (re)installed. It can be downloaded from http://www.java.com/en/download/manual.jsp

Downloading data: If a CSV (Comma Separated Values) file is all you need, then this file can be saved on your local directory and opened with a plain text editor, but most commonly the CSV is directly streamed to MS Excel. If you do not have MS Office installed, you can still use MS Excel Viewer; a free download it is available at http://office.microsoft.com/downloads/2000/xlviewer.aspx

Files in PDF format: Adobe Acrobat Reader is necessary and can be downloaded for free at http://get.adobe.com/reader/

If you have any technical difficulties or concerns, please let us know by using the “Contact us” form (located on the left menu and at the bottom of each screen).


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