The International Financial Statistics (IFS) database of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) provides financial indicators for most of its member countries, other selected countries, and regions as well. Key indicators such as a country’s exchange rate, interest rates, international transactions, national account are reported on. The statistics in the IFS are aggregated and transformed by the Statistics Department of the IMF, using data reported by counties’ authorities. The IFS data date back to 1948 and are available in frequencies of days, weeks, months, quarters, half-years, and years (vary by country and by indicator). *
*This description is based on the information from the IFS website.
Available data file formats
Excel, PPT, PDF, and PNG
This is an open data source that is for public use.
HOW TO RETRIEVE DATA BY EXAMPLE
Suppose you want to know how the average quarterly exchange rate of the Mexican peso in U.S. dollars evolves over time from 1990Q1 to 2018Q4.
- Locate the data source. Go to International Financial Statistics. In the lower-left part of the screen, you can choose your filters, Time displayed in Columns and Country and Indicator in Rows.
- Choose the time frame you are interested in. Click on the pen mark to choose the time period you are interested in. This will require that you click on Timeline. Deselect Years and type in your desired quarters, 1990Q1 to 2018Q4. Click OK to fix this filter.
Choose the right country. Now in filter Country, you can search or directly select from the country list. Searching Mexico is recommended. Once you get the results, select Mexico. Then click OK to fix this filter.
- Choose the right indicator. In filter Indicator, search exchange rate in the search bar. Now you have several results. Exchange Rates, National Currency Per U.S. Dollar, Period Average, Rate exactly matches your subject since you are seeking the average exchange rate in U.S. dollars. Then click on OK to finalize your choice.
- Download your data. The Table view of your data is now displayed. In the middle of the top panel of the screen, there is a button Export. You have four options to download the data but the Excel choice is strongly recommended as the other three forms would only download the data showing on the screen. That is, data points beyond the screen display would not be downloaded automatically. Therefore, clicking on .xlsx from the drop-down menu is the best move. Now you have obtained the data of your interest in Excel form.
Change the view of your data and download your data in a different form. If you want to show your data in a different view, say in Column view, then you may also download your data in PDF form. First select Column from the View drop-down menu. Then in the bottom of the Column view, moving the left bar to the furthest left to cover the whole sample. Then you can download your data in PDF form.
Be sure to consult with the source website on how to properly cite your data. For this scenario, the citation in APA format would look something like:
Statistics Department. International Financial Statistics. International Monetary Fund. http://data.imf.org/?sk=4C514D48-B6BA-49ED-8AB9-52B0C1A0179B&sId=1390030... (Accessed on December 2, 2019)