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How to use data sources: International Monetary Fund (IMF)

This is about IMF’s data, who can use it and how to use it.

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This is part of Sapio Research’s series: 16 Useful Desk Research Sources and how to use them

What is it?

The IMF’s primary purpose is to ensure that the global economic ecosystem remains stable. Chiefly the IMF’s goal is to maintain the international monetary system. It does so in three main ways; tracking the global economy and the economies of member countries, lending to countries who are having payment difficulties and giving practical advice.  Propping all this up is the research being conducted at the IMF. The IMF has expert research teams in the following Fields:

  • Development Economics
  • Economic Modelling
  • Energy and Environmental Economics
  • International Finance
  • International Trade
  • Labour Economics
  • Macro-Financial Issue
  • Open Economy Macroeconomics
  • Poverty and Inequality
  • Public Finance
  • Banking
  • Monetary Policy

They produce; news articles, videos, data, and publications based on their findings that help guide world economic policy. 

Who can use it?

IMF’s data is free and openly accessible to all, so are a significant amount of their published reports. However, this is not the case with all of them. The research that the IMF conductions would be most useful to anyone with an interest in world economics, particularly policy-makers, business owners, students, and academic.

How to use it

To access the IMF data first head to the “data” part of their website. You can also use the banner bar to access research, news, video and publications.

From here you can start to narrow down the kind of data you want to view. Your selection will either take you to the data portal or to a list of publications. This most accessible tool to a lay audience is the data portal. Thus, this is what I will highlight here.

The next thing to do is select the country you wish to produce a chart on. You can also generate a chart by using an indicator or even use a popular data-set.

Once, your chart has been set up you can maximise, share, print or export.

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