Data from IMF Databases Now Available for Free

The International Monetary Fund has expanded the data it makes available for free online. In addition to its widely used and valuable but rather basic World Economic Outlook database, it has now added material from its eLibrary, which comprises a huge amount of additional data from International Financial Statistics, Balance of Payments Statistics, Government Finance Statistics, Direction of Trade Statistics, and Trade and Investment. Between the IMF eLibrary and the Federal Reserve Bank of St.Louis’s FRED database, it is now possible to find easily for free what a few years ago would have been difficult, costly,  or impossible to find.

In the IMF eLibrary, the default time period seems to be approximately the last decade for annual data, but you can go far back by changing the start date to as early as 1900, though in my experience with IMF databases, 1948 has generally been the first year for data availability. The site requires free registration to make greatest use of its capabilities.