Government Deficit or Surplus - Sources and Methods

The primary source is the IMF's Government Finance Statistics Yearbook (GFSY). GFSY data are reported by countries using the system of common definitions and classifications found in the IMF Manual on Government Finance Statistics (1986).

The inadequate statistical coverage of state, provincial, and local governments has dictated the use of central government data only. This may seriously understate or distort the role of government, especially in large countries where lower levels of government are important. A general note (E) indicates instances where this is thought to be likely.

Grants, reported separately in GFSY, are here included in current revenue; government lending operations (GFSY lending minus repayments) are classified as capital payments.