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General search engines that are useful are Google's Public Data Explorer which can be used to identify relevant data sets and statistics. Quandl also offers free access to numerical time series data covering finance, economic and social datasets.
UK Data Service
Formerly known as Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS), this is a national data service providing key economic and social data. Datasets previously found in ESDS are available under Key data by selecting the International macro data tab or by searching the new Discover catalogue. Examples include:
Bank for International Settlements
Publications and data on the global financial system and central bank community. Statistics are available on various elements of the global financial system including banking, securities, effective exchange rates and global liquidity indicators.
Monthly and quarterly data can be found on the Economy, Finance and Trade page within the Countries and Consumers drop down menu which offers a wide range of short-term economic indicators across 64 countries and allow an analysis of economic trends and developments in real time.
GlobalEDGE Database of International Business Statistics (DIBS)
This contains business statistical data on trade blocs, countries, and industries which can be accessed across specified years. Interested academics (i.e., students, faculty, and researchers affiliated with a higher education institution may download data free of charge but need to register on globalEDGE using an institutional (.edu or .gov) email address.
This new International Labour Organisation database of labour statistics provides annual and infra-annual labour market statistics for over 100 indicators and nearly 200 countries. The Yearly indicators dataset contains standardized indicators for purposes of greater comparability across countries and relies heavily on the official submission of data by national authorities. The Short term indicators dataset contains monthly, quarterly and half-year data drawn from official websites of national authorities and is updated on a monthly basis.
International Monetary Fund (IMF)
This site contains details of IMF Finances and Country Information as well as the excellent World Economic Outlook which is published twice yearly and analyses global economic development. The Data and Statistics tab includes access to IMF times series data like the International Financial Statistics (IFS), Balance of Payments (BOPS), Direction of Trade (DOT), Government Financial Statistics (GFS), IMF Primary Commodity Prices and the Global Financial Stability Report. Additional access to these is provided through the UK Data Service under the International macro data tab.
IMF Economic Review
This journal was formerly know as IMF Staff Papers and is available electronically on Business Source Complete and in print at the Headington site (J332.1)
The OECD has 30 member countries and covers economic and social issues from macroeconomics, to trade, education, pensions, development and science and innovation. Some statistics from non-member countries such as Brazil, China, India etc. are also included in their publications. Some statistics are subscription only, however the Library does have access to the OECD Observer and OECD Economic Outlook in the OECDiLibrary. OECD Economic Surveys and OECD Economic Outlook are also available on Business Source Complete. OECD Employment outlook can be read online but not downloaded and is available in print in Headington Library.
Please note that the site features lots of freely accessible content, that you can freely download, such as
OECD Factbook series – https://www-oecd-ilibrary-org.oxfordbrookes.idm.oclc.org/economics/oecd-factbook_18147364
OECD Factbook database – www.oecd-ilibrary.org/economics/data/oecd-factbook-statistics_factbook-data-en
OECD Labour Force Statistics - http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/employment/oecd-labour-force-statistics_23083387;jsessionid=1tweppuea14jr.x-oecd-live-02
OECD Working Papers – www.oecd-ilibrary.org/papers
OECD Key Tables – www.oecd-ilibrary.org/statistics
OECD in Figures - www.oecd-ilibrary.org/economics/oecd-in-figures_15615537
National Statistics Offices
This United Nations webpage provides excellent links to National Statistics Offices worldwide. Access to the information varies, however, some of the better sites provide all of the official government statistics and commentary for free. The page is divided into the five continents of Africa, America, Asia, Europe and Oceania and countries are listed alphabetically under their continent heading.
Principal Global Indicators
The PGI dataset provides internationally comparable data for the Group of 20 economies (G-20) and economies with systemically important financial sectors that are not members of the G-20. The PGI facilitates the monitoring of economic and financial developments for these jurisdictions. Launched in 2009, the PGI website is hosted by the IMF and is a joint undertaking of the Inter-Agency Group of Economic and Financial Statistics (IAG).
Tradeviews Tradeviews has been designed for companies in the shipping community that wish to gain a better perspective of global trade. The reports show country to country statistics and there is a free element to the website including 50 free commodity reports.
UNCTAD is the United Nations body responsible for dealing with development issues and international trade. It produces a wide range of data collected from national and international sources on international trade, economic trends, commodities, foreign direct investments, population and labour force, information economy and maritime transport. Most of the time series cover long periods, with some dating back to 1948, for almost all economies of the world.
UNCTAD World Investment Reports
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) World Investment Reports have been published annually since 1991 and cover the latest trends in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Print editions are available in Headington Library (Oversize 332.673/UNI).
United Nations Statistics Division
The Statistical Database page contains links to databases (both unrestricted and subscription), such as the millennium development indicators (including country profiles). The National Statistics Offices webpage contains useful links and data sources. UNData is a data retrieval system for accessing all the UN statistical databases covering a wide range of themes including Education, Employment, Energy, Industry, Information and Communication Technology, National Accounts, Tourism and Trade.
The World Bank
The World Bank's Data and Statistics page has links to country information under its Understanding Poverty tab and by selecting the 'Open Data' tab, you can gain access to publications like World Development Indicators and African Development Indicators. The World Bank's Annual Report includes information about the Bank's projects and their performance in the six global regions, lending data and full financial statements. Datasets compiled and used for research are also freely available for analysis at the World Bank's Research Data and Analytical Tools website.
The Development Gateway was started by the World Bank and is now an international nonprofit organisation. It can be a useful source of development data and includes links to AidData (see below). World Development Indicators
This is the World Bank's premier annual compilation of data about development. The WDI includes more that 800 indicators in 90 tables organised in 6 sections: World View, People, Environment, Economy, States and Markets and Global Links. Print editions are available in Headington Libraries (Statistics Collection 330.0212/WOR).
World Trade Organisation (WTO) International Trade and Tariff Data WTO International and Tariff Data provides access to a range of international trade statistics including:
WTO Statistical Database (which includes links to trade profiles, tariff profiles and service profiles)
International Trade Statistics going back to 1998 (an annual publication including detailed analysis and tables on leading traders, trade by sector and product, regional trade)
Tariff data (customs duty rates and imports)
Staff working papers.