RUSSIA SHIFTS TO INTERNATIONAL STATISTICS CIRCULATION STANDARDS: FINANCE MINISTER

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MOSCOW, February 1 (RIA Novosti) - Russia has shifted to data circulation standards according to the International Monetary Fund, announced Alexei Kudrin, Finance Minister.

"Yesterday, Russia became a 60th country to accept those special standards on IMF methods," said the minister, who described this change as a climax of progress Russian statistics have made to this day.

The standard emerged in 1996 to vouch for every country's quality economic statistics and make national indices mutually comparable.

Russia placed its figures on the IMF web site, January 31, and will offer its statistics on a regular scale from now on.

The IMF described the event in a press release as testimony to the Russian economy getting on a new level of openness and transparency, said the minister.

The IMF special standard, or DDSS, specifies four aspects of data circulation-scope, periodicity and opportune appearance; public accessibility; comprehensiveness; and, last but not least, quality, explains the Finance Ministry press service.

Though standard acceptance is purely voluntary, the countries that join it vouch to comply with it and duly inform the IMF about their current data circulation practice. Such information is freely accessible on the web site of the Data Dissemination Standard Bulletin, DDSB.

The bulletin offers detailed descriptions of statistical bases for data obtaining and circulation according to the IMF standard, and hyperlinks to current statistics Russia's Finance Ministry is publishing on its web site national page for composite data.

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