Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Structural Break In Monetary And Financial Data

BNM is making my life, and the lives of every economist in town, a bit more complicated (excerpt, emphasis added):

Adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards for monetary and banking data in the Monthly Statistical Bulletin (Latest Updates: 28 February 2014)

Bank Negara Malaysia is pleased to inform that starting with the December 2013 issue of the Monthly Statistical Bulletin (MSB), the set of Monetary and Banking data pertaining to the balance sheets of financial institutions (excluding tables related to loans/financing) has been revised from 2007 onwards….

...Nevertheless, users should recognise that there is a break in the historical trend between December 2012 and January 2013, especially when studying components at a more granular level.

For Monetary Aggregates (Tables 1.3, 1.3.1 and 1.3.2), data items where possible, have been aligned to meet the existing conceptual definitions. Starting January 2014, the compilation uses data collected based on the new taxonomy, which will result in a break in the historical series. In order to facilitate trend analysis, a one year back series data consistent with January 2014 has been published in the MSB.

The data revisions are all to the good, especially since it will help with cross-country comparisons.

but some of these changes will give me big headaches, especially the change in reporting from a gross to a net basis for bank balance sheets. It looks minor at a 2%-3%, but you’re fastidious about the data you use, stuff like this can drive you up the wall. There’s a half percent difference in monetary aggregates (between RM4-9b) between the old series and the new one as well. No wonder the reported growth rates looked a bit funny this month.

Oh well, there’s no stopping progress…

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