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External Debt Statistics: Guide for Compilers and Users

VersionSecond Edition
Valid from2003 (An update is currently in process to meet the SNA 2008 standards)
Previous versionsThe Guide updates the previous international guidance on external debt statistics, External Debt: Definition, Statistical Coverage and Methodology (widely known as the Grey Book), published in 1988.
DescriptionExternal Debt Statistics: Guide for Compilers and Users (the Guide) provides clear guidance on the concepts, definitions, and classifications of gross external debt of the public and private sectors; the sources and techniques for compiling these data, and the analytical use of these data. The Guide also presents the tables that are relevant for the external debt category of the IMF's data dissemination standards.

The Guide's conceptual framework derives from the System of National Accounts 1993 (1993 SNA) and the fifth edition of the IMF's Balance of Payments Manual (BPM5), both issued in 1993. Two types of gross external debt tables are presented in the Guide: one focuses on all resident institutional sectors and the other on the role of the public sector. Nevertheless, additional data series are essential to assist in identifying potential external vulnerability problems arising from the external debt position. Therefore, the Guide goes beyond the 1993 SNA and BPM5 frameworks in specifying the concepts for the measurement and in providing more tables for the presentation of external debt data series, including: on a remaining maturity basis; the currency of denomination; and the debt service payment schedule. Frameworks for the presentation of external debt reorganizations and by the ultimate obligor—rather than the immediate obligor typically reported in economic statistics—are also provided. The Guide also explains the concept of net external debt—that is, a comparison of the external debt position with holdings of foreign financial assets in the form of debt instrument—and incorporates financial derivative positions into external debt analysis.
Maintenance organization Bank for International Settlements (BIS), European Central Bank (ECB), International Monetary Fund (IMF), Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Statistical Office of the European Union (EUROSTAT), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), World Bank (WB)
Statistical domains 2.1 Macroeconomic statistics
Type of standardConcepts and Definitions
Languages Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish
Information last updated23/08/11