We work to ensure the numbers add up to inform and improve policy recommendations
Reliable statistical information – statistics and indicators used in the analysis of international trade, investment and development – is indispensable for formulating sound economic policies and recommendations. Policy decisions, once taken, may commit countries for many years as they strive to integrate into the world economy and improve the living standards of their citizens.
Having access to high-quality research and evidence-based policy analysis thus enables countries to make informed decisions and design better policies. This, in turn, is essential to fostering social, environmental and economic development.
UNCTAD compiles, validates and processes a range of data collected from national and international sources. Most time-series data cover extended periods of time, with some dating back to 1948, for almost all economies in the world.
UNCTAD statistics are thus grounded in continuity, accuracy and timeliness. Statistical work also conforms to the United Nations principles governing international statistical activities – formulated with significant contributions from UNCTAD.
Statistics are supported by the UNCTAD Statistics Quality Assurance Framework.
- About UNCTAD statistics
Statistics is an inherent part of UNCTAD. Being the United Nations’ focal point for the integrated treatment of trade and development and the interrelated issues in the areas of finance, technology, investment and sustainable development, UNCTAD compiles, validates and processes a wide range of data collected from national and international sources. Most of the time series cover long periods, with some dating back to 1948, for almost all economies of the world. This allows making an analysis of emerging and most urgent issues within a framework of long-lasting tendencies and wide geographical scope. In case of missing data or break in series, UNCTAD applies its expertise and methodology to make estimates. Such continuity together with accurateness and timeliness are the pillars of statistics that UNCTAD always pursue.
UNCTAD’s statistical work is in conformity with the Principles Governing International Statistical Activities, to which formulation and reinforcement UNCTAD has significantly contributed.
UNCTAD produces more than 150 indicators and statistical time series essential for the analysis of:
- International trade
- Economic trends
- Foreign direct investment
- External financial resources
- Population and labor force
- Information economy
- Maritime transport
The coronavirus pandemic led to a 3% drop in global trade values in the first quarter of 2020. The downturn is expected to accelerate in the second quarter, according to UNCTAD forecasts, which project a quarter-on-quarter decline of 27%.
Statistics and the SDGs
The purpose of the SDG Pulse is to highlight recent trends in sustainable development and UNCTAD’s work to support the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.
Development and Globalization: Facts and Figures
Handbook of Statistics
The UNCTAD Handbook of Statistics provides users with access to internationally comparable sets of data, in addition to facilitating the work of the UNCTAD secretariat. The Handbook also presents a summary overview of the statistical time series available from UNCTADstat.
These bulletins are designed to provide regular (monthly, quarterly, annual) overview of the evolution for a selection of topics and indicators.
These fact sheets are designed to provide a short summary overview for a selection of topics or an introduction to a selection of indicators. The topic factsheets are typically taken from the Handbook of Statistics where accompanying tables can be found.
In cooperation with UN agencies and other partners organizations, UNCTAD works to coordinate a wide variety of capacity development initiatives, helping national statistical offices and systems to improve their data collection, and statistical production and dissemination, and also to develop the international statistical system.
Gender and Trade
"Assessing the Impact of Trade Agreements on Gender Equality: Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement"
A new study by UNCTAD, UN Women, the European Union and ILO examines the impact of trade agreements on gender equality and women's economic empowerment.
Development Statistics and Information Branch
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