Posts Tagged ‘country_intelligence’

Finding country-specific information

Your research may point you towards country-specific information, including country profiles and Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  Here is some guidance on sources.


OECD Key Short Term Indictors – GDP
The World Bank’s World Development Indicators and select GDP.

Passport from Euromonitor – select Countries & Consumers; Economy, Finance and Trade.

Datastream – Economics, key indicators by country (or List M#GDPX)

For UK, go to HM Treasury GDP Deflators or search GOV.UK Statistics.

For US, go to U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis National Economic Accounts

Additional country profile information:

IHS Connect: Go to Customer Login menu, choose IHS Connect.  Under Geography, choose Country Profile.

Passport from Euromonitor – search for Country Profile.

Business Source Premier from EuroMonitor.

CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) The World Fact Book.

Michigan State University (MSU) globalEDGE.

See also the University of Manchester LibGuide on Business and Management, which has a section on databases for countries and regions.

See also this post from January 2014 on UK GDP on Bloomberg and Datastream.

Country Risk Ratings on IHS Global Insight (update December 2014)

1 October 2014 2 comments

Edit: Updated again 15 December 2014; there are now fewer steps so it has become easier again.

It can be difficult to log into IHS Global Insight (formerly just Global Insight) for some institutions, and then to find the country risk ratings is hard too. Risks and Ratings has now been moved out of IHS Global Insight to IHS Connect, another part of their website.

For staff and students at The University of Manchester, these steps should offer some assistance.

  1. Visit the Library’s Database A-Z page for IHS Global Insight: and click on the link to launch it.
  2. Click on the ‘IHS Customer Login’ menu, click on IHS Connect.
  3. You are now on the ‘IHS Connect’ website. On the main menu bar, hover on ‘Insight’ then click ‘Risks and Ratings’ then ‘Country Risk’.

You should then see a screen like the following.

IHS Connect country risks

IHS Connect country risks

The tool is very easy to use, allowing you to sort the columns and change the time period.

Go with the Flow: Bloomberg’s Trade Flow Function

17 December 2013 Leave a comment

From the Lippincott Datapoints blog – an excellent source of Bloomberg tips

Datapoints: A blog from the Lippincott Library of the Wharton School of Business

China deficit_reducedBloomberg’s Trade Flow function (ECTR) has recently been updated. It provides an easy way to produce tables and graphs for world trade including data on total trade, surplus/deficit, exports/imports and net exports. Time series go back to 1980 and include yearly, quarterly, and monthly data. Geographic detail includes geographic regions, 251 countries, and geopolitical regions such as BRICS and the EU.

Bloomberg uses import data provided by the IMF. Bloomberg then determines the figures for exports by imputing them from imports. For example, country A’s exports to Country B are given as Country B’s imports from country A.  This calculation is done to make world total imports and exports equal. Reported export figures of countries tend to be lower, and are assumed to be less accurate, than import figures. For example, the IMF reports Total World exports in 2012 as 18,097.2 billion U.S. dollars and Total World imports as 18.267.0…

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Quandl – a search engine for time-series datasets

5 November 2013 4 comments

QuandlHomeQuandl has indexed over 7,000,000 time-series datasets from over 400 sources. All these datasets are open and free. The long term goal of Quandl is to make all the numerical data on the internet easy to find and easy to use (Quandl, 2013a).

You have to like a web site that gives you quick and easy access to oil prices, exchange rates, unemployment, world stock market indices, and Fama French factors. The screenshot below is from spot price for Brent crude oil (US Department of Energy, 2013)

Try scrolling down the Quandl home page to the “browse pages” section to get an overview of the coverage, and also look at the Quandl data sources page (Quandl, 2013b).

When using Quandl, like other web resources, you need to do a little work to check that the quality of the data is appropriate.

For example the oil price in the screenshot below is from the US Department of Energy, a reputable source, and if you want you could double-check with other sources – see Oil price – historical data (January 2011).  In contrast trying to find non-US stock prices can be tricky – for Unilever you tend to get the prices for US listings rather than the primary listing in Amsterdam or London (Unilever is dual-listed) and the NYSE Euronext figures jump around suggesting some conversion error (NYSE Euronext, 2013)

Oil price graph (Brent spot) (click to expand)

Oil price graph (Brent spot) (click to expand)

The “Data Sources” page (Quandl, 2013b) gives a good overview of the range of free datasets available through Quandl. The following list some of the major sources and some that look of particular interest to Business Research Plus readers (approximate dataset counts in brackets).

  • United Nations (2,100,000)
  • World bank (792,000)
  • Eurostat (321,000)
  • Federal Reserve Economic Data (61,000)
  • US Department of Energy (440,000)
  • UK Office of National Statistics (14,000)
  • Ken French (U Dartmouth) (25)

Quandl’s search often returns a long list of results and further filtering or revision may be needed. If you want to get 3 month treasury bill data from the Bank of England then a search “uk risk free rate” or “uk treasury bill” will not help because the series name is “End Month Level Of Discount Rate, 3 Month Treasury Bills, Sterling” (Bank of England, 2013).


Quandl was first mentioned on a couple of other business library blogs earlier this year (Datasets in Quandl, reposted Feb 2013) but at that time I didn’t explore further – thanks to the Warwick librarian who prompted this post – Quandl- freely available time-series data.


Bank of England (2103) End Month Level Of Discount Rate, 3 Month Treasury Bills, Sterling. Available at  (Accessed: 05 November 2013)

NYSE Euronext (2013) NYSE Euronext – UNILEVER OS (UNIA). Available at (Accessed: 05 November 2013)

Quandl (2013a) Quandl > About > Overview. Available at (Accessed: 04 November 2013)

Quandl (2013b) Quandl > Data > Data Sources. Available at (Accessed: 05 November 2013)

US Department of Energy (2013) Europe Brent Crude Oil Spot Price FOB (Dollars per Barrel). Available at (Accessed: 05 November 2013)

New ‘Country Guide’

A new ‘Country Guide’ has been added to the list of research guides. This illustrates the resources available to students and staff at the University of Manchester to assist in their research efforts.

See full listing at:  Research Guides

The ‘Corporate Strategy’ guide has been updated to include changes to the GMID market research database, now known as ‘Passport GMID’. Look out for paper copies of the guide in the Precinct and Eddie Davies libraries.

A New Look for GMID

18 April 2011 1 comment

GMID, Global Market Information Database, provides access to International market analysis and socio-economic/demographic data. It is an excellent resource for researching country intelligence, international markets and international consumer lifestyles.

As of this week there have been a few changes including a new interface, improved usability and a slightly new name, Passport GMID. For those who regularly use GMID don’t worry although it may look a little different the core functionality and content remain the same. In essence the new features include:

  • A new look: a new simplified search interface including quick access to key industries/consumer data and analyses
  • Predictive text searching: to help you make more targeted free text searches
  • Better organised results: relevance driven and with filters to help you refine searches
  • Faster navigation: seamlessly move between results page, content and related content
  • Improved downloads for stats: to help you leverage data more easily

On accessing Passport GMID there is a short introductory video to familiarise you with the new interface and help you make the most of the new functionality.

To access Passport GMID, see “Markets & Sectors” or “Countries & Regions” via the library databases on the MBS Library website:

Further help on accessing and using GMID see our Helping You – Research Guides section via our website.

Researching Regional Intelligence: European/International Regional Data

We recently posted on how to find UK Regional data, see  Researching Regional Intelligence:  UK Regional Data (31/03/2011),  and have subsequently been asked how to find similar data for European and International regions.

Europe: Eurostat
Eurostat, the European Union’s official statistical agency produces an annual publication “Eurostat Regional Yearbook” (available in pdf) plus  a wide range of regional datasets available to search, view and download free of charge.

Search Tip: To access the publication and the datasets  select the “Statistics Tab”, then “Regions and Cities”. There are options to view the Regional Yearbook plus access to the main data tables and more detailed datasets for regions and cities. See our quick video for “Finding European Regional Datasets“.

North America: FedStats
The US Statistical agency Fedstats produces a wealth of detailed regional data, see the sections for “MapStats” and various datasets by theme via the “Statistics by Geography”.

International: Official Government Statistical Agencies
To find regional statistics for other international countries try the official Government Statistical Agency for the specific country. Data will vary from country to country but you will often find a great deal of data published online and/or contact the agency for further information. You can locate official statistical agencies using a simple search within any search engine eg: “Australia and Official Statistics” or alternatively you can use directories collated by the United Nations or US Bureau of Statistics:

Researching Regional Intelligence: UK Regional Data

31 March 2011 2 comments

The John Rylands Univesity Library  subscribes to a range of data sources providing national economic and socio-demographic data. Databases such as GMID (Global Market Information Database), ESDS International, Global Insights and Global Financial data provide a wealth of datasets providing a valuable insight into economic and social trends from a country perspective. Regional data can, however, be a little trickier to find but there are many freely available sources you can use to research UK regional data.

Regional Trends: Office of National Statistics
Regional Trends in a comprehensive annual publication collated by the Office of National Statistics (the UK Government Statistical Office) and is the most authoritative publication for regional data. It provides detailed demographic, social, industrial and economic statistics for the sub-regions of the UK (economy, education, environment, health, housing, labour, lifestyles, population, transport and crime).   Selecting either the latest online or pdf report provides interactive access to related analysis and datasets. Navigating the data can be confusing, see the following videos demonstrate three key ways to finding data:

ONS Neighbourhood Statistics
You can drill even further for local data using the Office of National Statistics Neighbourhood statistics site. This site provides an ever increasing range of small area data allowing you to paint a picture of life in local communities. It is possible to locate detailed data using the “Area search” (enter an area name or a postcode) or a snapshot using the “Neighbourhood Summary” search. Don’t know the postcode or area name? use the “Topic Search” to find predefined interactive datasets by theme.  As local data is more difficult to research and obtain much of the data is sourced from the UK Census (taken every 10 years) although recent data is available depending on the dataset.  Note: using this website does require some knowledge of local authority/ward area names or postcode areas and you may need to do a little preparatory work to identify your area before searching.

Regional Development Agencies (RDAs)
RDAs are regional government bodies established to encourage regional growth and investment. They generally have research units, (eg North West Development Agency’s North West Regional Intelligence Unit),  collating facts and figures for the region which are published on their websites, (where on the website will vary but look for links to publications, economic statistics, research and statistics, economic strategy under various headings). It may take a little time to find but can be worth the effort!

UK City Councils: Economic Development Units
Finally another way of finding local regional data is to try the local City or Borough Council. Most councils will produce an economic strategy or have an Economic Development Unit collating local area statistics, (an example is Manchester City Council’s Corporate Research & Intelligence Unit). Note: This can be a more time consuming route as you need to consult each individual website, the layout of which will vary from council to council and it is not always guaranteed data will be published online. Details of UK councils can be found online from the UK Government website.

Knowing where to start to find high quality data from external websites can be a daunting task, why not try our Delicious page providing details of useful web sites evaluated by our expert staff. You can access the site via the MBS Library Website or directly via  Alternatively contact us and speak to a member of our expert team who can help and advise you find relevant resources for your research:

Telephone: 0161 275 6507