World Economics Data Quality Rating (DQR)
10 July 2019
World Economics currently ranks 154 countries globally in terms of the overall quality of their economic data used to estimate Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The DQR score is based on a weighted average of six factors ranging in value between 0 and 100 deemed to measure the quality of economic data to produce an overall score out of 100 ranging from Haiti (worst quality) at 18.9 to New Zealand (best quality) at 98.6. The data is ranked by quartile and each country receives a summary rating from A to D. These ratings are described below:
Countries in this grade all have up-to-date Base Years or use the chaining methodology and all employ the most up to date SNA 2008 standard for measuring GDP. They have lower levels of unmeasured informal economic activities with a median estimate of just over 14 per cent of official GDP and generally low levels of corruption. The quality of the economic data in ‘A’ graded countries is “as good as it gets” and can be used for most purposes, although the usual caution must be taken given less than full implementation of the latest standards, difficulties in estimating government output and the services sector.
Nearly half of the countries in this grade have out of date base years ranging from 3 to 8 years and nearly one in five still employ the outmoded SNA 1993 standard for measuring GDP. The average level of unmeasured informal economic activities as a proportion of official GDP at 28 per cent is over twice the estimate for ‘A ‘ranked countries with a range from 12 to 53 per cent. Corruption levels on average are twice as high as in category ‘A’ countries. The quality of economic data in ‘B’ graded countries should be used with caution means that it provides a reasonable guide of GDP for some purposes should as growth and approximate size, but it should not be used to make direct comparisons to countries ranked with A grade data. Particular attention should be made to the quality of government data and price indexes.
The vast majority of the countries in this grade have out of date base years apart from six which use chaining. The lag ranges from 4 to 18 years with an average of 7 years out of date. Two-thirds of the countries still employ the SNA 1993 standard for measuring GDP which means that the average level of unmeasured informal economic activities as a proportion of official GDP is high at 32 per cent with a range from 15 to 60 per cent. Corruption levels remain high. The quality of economic data in ‘C’ graded countries provides a generally unreliable guide for many purposes, particularly investment, but some attempts are being made by many countries to improve accuracy.
All of the countries in this grade have out of date base years with a lag ranging from 5 to 32 years with an average of 15 years out of date over twice the figure for category C countries. Only two countries use the latest standard for measuring GDP with virtually all of the other countries using SNA 1993, apart from seven which still use SNA 1968. The average level of unmeasured informal economic activities as a proportion of official GDP is very high at 37 per cent and ranges from 15 to 67 per cent. Corruption is endemic with levels almost twice as high as in category C countries. The quality and reliability of economic data in ‘D’ graded countries is extremely poor and official GDP data should not be used for any purpose.