Accurate and timely data are crucial for informing policy decisions, especially during a crisis. The progress made to date by participating economies under the second phase of the data gaps initiative (DGI-2) has proven its value during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The main objective of DGI-2 is to implement the regular collection and dissemination of reliable and timely statistics for policy use. DGI-2 also includes new recommendations to reflect evolving policymaker needs. Its twenty recommendations are clustered under three main headings: (i) monitoring risk in the financial sector; (ii) vulnerabilities, interconnections and spillovers; and (iii) data sharing and communication of official statistics.
DGI-2 maintains continuity with the first phase of recommendations while setting more specific objectives for G20 economies to compile and disseminate minimum common datasets for these recommendations.
The report sets out the challenges encountered by participating economies during this pandemic and the remaining steps to implement the DGI-2 recommendations in 2021. The report highlights that:
- The COVID-19 pandemic posed significant challenges to the 2020 DGI work program, and thus participating economies agreed to extend DGI work by six months to December 2021.
- Nevertheless, progress in implementing the DGI-2 recommendations continued, despite the challenges that COVID-19 poses. Positive developments include enhancements in compilation processes, data sharing arrangements, production and dissemination of additional tables, as well as instrument and sector breakdowns.
- To continue addressing data needs beyond 2021, many participating economies support maintaining an organised international collaboration process.
The COVID-19 crisis has increased policymakers’ needs to obtain more granular, relevant, and reliable data. A possible new mandate could help address emerging policy questions. A general framework could be defined during 2021 and presented in the next DGI-2 progress report, which will be published in the second half of 2021 and delivered to G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors.