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04 November, 2015 12:02 PM Source: Financial Times - Sri Lanka
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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has affirmed Sri Lanka’s subscription to the Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS) on 3 November, the Central Bank announced yesterday.
“This is a milestone in the improvement of Sri Lanka’s macroeconomic statistics to a higher standard. Sri Lanka becomes the 66th jurisdiction in the world and the 12th in the Asia and Pacific region to subscribe to the SDDS,” the Central Bank added in a statement.

Non-availability of timely data and data deficiencies in many economies contributed substantially to delays in taking corrective action that could have prevented and/or minimised the damage caused by the financial crises that took place in mid 1990s. Considering this, the IMF launched two data transparency standards: the SDDS in 1996 and the General Data Dissemination System (GDDS) in 1997.
The SDDS intends to guide member economies that have, or might seek, access to international capital markets in the provision of their economic and financial data to the public. The GDDS is a statistical framework to guide member economies with less developed statistical systems to evaluate their data improvement needs and setting priorities.
The SDDS identifies four dimensions of data dissemination, namely; data availability (coverage, periodicity and timeliness), access by the public, integrity of the disseminated data and the quality of disseminated data. The SDDS prescribes dissemination of macroeconomic statistics pertaining to 22 data categories covering real, fiscal, financial and external sectors. Data dissemination requires the following of prescribed guidelines in the “SDDS Guide for Subscribers and Users” published by the IMF in 2013. The procedural requirements for the SDDS include the provision of an Advance Release Calendar (ARC) and metadata for each data category. Equally important is the maintenance of a National Summary Data Page (NSDP) to post the SDDS prescribed data.
The main differences between the GDDS and the SDDS are as follows.
• The GDDS is less prescriptive than the SDDS. The GDDS provides recommendations on good practices for the production and dissemination of statistics emphasising on progress over time towards higher quality data. Meanwhile, SDDS prescribes specific standards that must be observed by economies subscribing to SDDS.

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