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The Statistical Measurement of Services: Recent Achievements and Remaining Challenges

Listed author(s):
  • Enrico Giovannini
  • William Cave

Services are increasingly important in modern economies contributing about 68% of world economy value added in 2002 and, although at a much lower level, are increasingly traded internationally (see Table 1). These patterns of increasing importance of services are observed in the generality of both “developed” and “developing” economies, although there are economies which show exceptions to the trend. This paper discusses the policy needs to understand the impact of services on the performance of modern economies, some of the most pressing measurement problems, and it summarises recent actions undertaken by international organisations and expert groups to address these issues. It concludes that:- development work on services prices and volumes is fundamental to measurement of growth and needs to continue; there is a need to engage more countries in the development of their service statistics; international organisations should enhance co-ordination of interagency technical assistance and co-operation in this area; and from the national perspective, a wider implementation of a range of international standards is encouraged. Les services prennent une importance croissante dans les économies modernes puisqu’ils ont contribué pour environ 68% à la valeur ajoutée de l’économie mondiale en 2002 et qu’ils sont de plus en plus échangés, quoique dans une mesure sensiblement moindre (cf. Tableau 1). Ces exemples de l’importance croissante des services sont communément observés dans les économies à la fois «développées» et «en développement», bien que certaines d’entre elles aillent à l’encontre de cette tendance. Ce document traite des besoins politiques pour comprendre l’impact des services sur la performance des économies modernes, de certains des problèmes de mesure les plus impérieux, et il résume les récentes actions entreprises par les organisations internationales et les groupes d’experts pour aborder ces problèmes. Dans sa conclusion, est fait état de ce qui suit: un travail de développement sur les prix et volumes de services est fondamental pour la mesure de la croissance et doit nécessairement se poursuivre; il est indispensable d’engager plus de pays au développement de leurs statistiques des services; les organisations internationales doivent améliorer la coordination interagence de l’assistance et de la coopération techniques dans ce domaine; enfin, d’un point de vue national, l’application plus étendue d’une variété de normes internationales est encouragée.

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Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Statistics Working Papers with number 2005/2.

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Date of creation: 03 Aug 2005
Handle: RePEc:oec:stdaaa:2005/2-en
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