Fiscal Explorer

  • Argentina: Nonfinancial national public sector
  • Brasil: Central government (incl. social security funds)
  • Chile: Central government (incl. social security funds)
  • Colombia: Central government (incl. social security funds)
  • Ecuador: Central government (incl. social security funds)
  • Mexico: Central government (incl. social security funds)
  • Peru: Central government (incl. social security funds)
  • Uruguay: Central government (incl. social security funds)

See methodological apendix for further remarks

Expenditures & Revenues

Primary & Total Result

Data Coverage

The information available by country is summarized in the following tables.

  • Revenues detail level can be “headline” (only total revenues), “headline +” (tax and non-tax revenues) or additional openings, especially non-tax ones (” standard’).
  • “Memo” in income are additional lines that represent other income openings and should not be added to them, in particular: income from commodities, VAT or general sales tax, foreign trade taxes or income tax.
  • Expenditures wih “standard” allows distinguishing between salaries, expenditures on goods and services, social security benefits, subsidies / transfers, capital expenditures, and interest (with the exceptions of the previous section).
  • % vs WEO: To determine the representativeness of the monthly high-frequency information presented we compared the level of expenditure from the last complete World Economic Outlook (October 2019) with the data reported in our database.
Country
Coverage
Revenues
Revenue / Memo
Expenditure
% vs WEO
Interest / results
Start Date
Base
Argentina
Nonfinancial public sector****
Standard
Yes
Apertura Estándar
58,6%
Yes
Jan 1993
cash
Colombia
Central government*’
Headline
 
Headline
65,4%
Yes
Jan 1995
cash
Colombia
Central government*’
Headline
 
Headline
65,3%
Yes
Jan 1995
accrued
Colombia
Nonfinancial public sector
NA
Yes
NA
 
NA
Jan 2000
cash
Chile
Central government*
Standard
Yes
Standard
92,7%
Yes
Jan-12
accrued
Ecuador
Central government*
Headline+
 
Headline
54,5%
Yes
Jan-04
cash
Ecuador***
Central government*
Standard
 
Standard
76,1%
Yes
Jan-18
accrued
Ecuador***
Non financial public sector
Standard
Yes
Standard
103,1%
Yes
Apr-17
accrued
México
Central government*
Standard
 
Standard
72,3%
Yes
Jan-77
accrued
México
Non financial public sector**
Standard
Yes
Standard
95,0%
Yes
Jan-77
accrued
Paraguay
Central government*
Headline+
 
Standard
77,8%
Yes
Jan-15
cash
Paraguay
Public sector
NA
Yes
NA
 
NA
Sep-18
cash
Perú
Central government*
Standard
 
Standard
85,3%
Yes
Jan-06
accrued
Perú
General government
Standard
 
Standard
100,5%
Yes
Jan-06
accrued
Perú
Non financial public sector
NA
Yes
s/d
 
Yes
Jan-06
accrued
Uruguay
Central government*
Standard
 
Standard
98,3%
Yes
Jan-99
cash
Uruguay
General government
NA
 
NA
 
Yes
Jan-99
cash
Uruguay
Nonfinancial public sector
NA
 
NA
 
Yes
Jan-99
cash
Uruguay
Public sector
NA
Yes
NA
 
Yes
Jan-99
cash
Brasil
Central government*
Standard
Yes
Ad-hoc
63,8%
Yes
Jan-97
accrued
*Central government (incl. social security funds)
*’Central government (excl. social security funds)
** (w/ extrabudgetary)
***Ecuador Accured data has 2 months lags
**** National

Data Quality

The spirit of the Fiscal Explorer is to homogenize income and expenses in categories that could be a “lowest common denominator” between the countries within the logic of the IMF’s economic classifier. This is a work in progress and we expect to improve the exercise in the near future

Sometimes the selected concepts may not correspond exactly to the homogeneous categories selected due to the lack of adequacy of the original data. E.g. “Property income” can in some cases include operating income if the wording of the original concepts is ambiguous (oil income can go as dividends, as sales, as taxes, as royalties …). In other cases, the lines were assigned to “property income” or “operating income” according to their description, but there could be wrong interpretations due to the conciseness of what is presented in the tables and the analyst’s ignorance. On the expenditure side, it could be that the expenditure levels are not comparable due to the ambiguity that sometimes arises with respect to the concepts contained (“social security benefits”), or due to slightly different openings (vs “pension benefits”) . Along the same lines, what is considered “social security benefits” (contributory) or discretionary transfer will vary between countries (unemployment insurance / work plan?).

Sometimes the level of detail is poor (“non-tax” without additional discrimination). Some publications do not clarify the basis of recording (cash / accrual). On the income side, the subsequent opening of the “non-tax” is doubtful: it is recommended to use the memorandum information when possible.

Some countries report, with respect to resources linked to commodities, direct revenues, and associated tax revenues separately (Chile). When that information is available, the associated tax revenue is added to the resource memorandum line for commodities.

The information available does not allow adequate and comparable discrimination of the public companies sector between the different countries; some, for example, do not discriminate transfers from the central government. Thus, specific income and expense items were not generated either. Generally, the business sector is registered / should be registered by the net subsidy since it is supposed to be market-oriented production.

Classification by institutional sector attempts to follow that of the IMF manual. There is no unquestionable way to make comparisons given the diversity in the allocation of spending responsibilities between levels of government (federal, provinces and municipalities), level of consolidation of social security entities, tasks carried out by public companies, extrabudgetary entities, funds fiduciaries, public vs private pension funds, etc. Some countries have real-time reports from municipalities, others do not. The IMF database (GFS), annually, has enormous problems for comparison between countries, availability and quality of data, even among OECD countries.

In the same sense, the presentation of the tax sharing (“coparticipacion”) is not uniform. In Brazil it appears as a negative income, in Colombia, it appears as an expense and in Argentina, it does not appear. In other countries, it could appear in the Central Government without being discriminated against.

It is therefore recommended to use, for the concept whose evolution is to be compared (eg personnel expenses), the series corresponding to the highest level of aggregation for each country. That is, prefer General Government to Central Government if this concept is available for both sectors for a given country. The monthly update data in many cases is limited to the federal level of government. Coverage will vary between countries – in Chile the General Government represents 92% of public spending, in Argentina it is half.

In some cases, it was observed that the opening is different for the Central Government than for the General Government, which makes it impossible to know, for example, if the provinces do not make pension expenses or if they simply do not discriminate it from other transfers. By adding the line of pension expenses and assigning a zero to the provinces, this could be underestimated.

Since the series will differ in terms of exact definition, institutional coverage and record base, it is generally not recommended to use this to compare spending / GDP levels. It may be adequate to see the evolution over time, assuming that the levels of government without coverage of high frequency data evolve in a similar way.

Revenue collection data is always on a cash basis; If the base indicates “accrued” it is due to the origin of the data and generally refers to the recording of expenses.