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Data Gaps Initiative

The second phase of the G20 Data Gaps Initiative (DGI) was launched in 2015, with the main objective of implementing the regular collection and dissemination of reliable and timely financial sector statistics for policy use. While maintaining continuity with the recommendations from the first phase, the second phase also sets more specific objectives for the compilation and dissemination of minimum common datasets in three areas: (i) monitoring risk in the financial sector; (ii) vulnerabilities, interconnections and spillovers; and (iii) data sharing and communication of official statistics. The IMF and the secretariat of the Financial Stability Board, in close cooperation with the Inter-Agency Group on Economic and Financial Statistics and participating economies, monitor and report progress on an annual basis. Completion is envisaged for 2021.

During 2018, important progress was achieved in the implementation of the DGI recommendations, including in the monitoring of shadow banking, reporting of data on global systemically important banks, and improved coverage, timeliness, and periodicity of sectoral accounts. Nonetheless, challenges persist as adequate financial, skill and information technology resources must be mobilized to ensure appropriate infrastructure for data access and data sharing, and the proper maintenance of new datasets, among others. To facilitate further progress, the work programme for 2019 includes three thematic workshops, on commercial property price indices (as part of the International Conference on Real Estate Statistics), sectoral accounts, and government finance and debt statistics.

The DGI has important synergies with other global initiatives, such as public debt transparency, the implementation of the Legal Entity Identifier system (see chapter III.F), and big data for policymaking. Accurate and comprehensive debt data and strengthened transparency are important for sound borrowing and lending practices. There are several initiatives to improve debt data, including the IMF Data for Decision Fund and the World Bank initiative on collecting domestic debt data on an instrument-by-instrument basis, and the Debt Data Quality Assessment Methodology, a joint initiative by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the Commonwealth Secretariat.