Your research may point you towards country-specific information, including country profiles and Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Here is some guidance on sources.
Passport from Euromonitor – select Countries & Consumers; Economy, Finance and Trade.
Datastream – Economics, key indicators by country (or List M#GDPX)
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.
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.
- Visit the Library’s Database A-Z page for IHS Global Insight: and click on the link to launch it.
- Click on the ‘IHS Customer Login’ menu, click on IHS Connect.
- 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.
The tool is very easy to use, allowing you to sort the columns and change the time period.
From the Lippincott Datapoints blog – an excellent source of Bloomberg tips
Bloomberg’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 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)
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 http://www.quandl.com/BOE-Bank-of-England/IUMAJNB-End-Month-Level-Of-Discount-Rate-3-Month-Treasury-Bills-Sterling (Accessed: 05 November 2013)
NYSE Euronext (2013) NYSE Euronext – UNILEVER OS (UNIA). Available at http://www.quandl.com/NYX-NYSE-Euronext/XAMS_UNIA-UNILEVER-OS-UNIA (Accessed: 05 November 2013)
Quandl (2013a) Quandl > About > Overview. Available at http://www.quandl.com/about/overview (Accessed: 04 November 2013)
Quandl (2013b) Quandl > Data > Data Sources. Available at http://www.quandl.com/data/sources (Accessed: 05 November 2013)
US Department of Energy (2013) Europe Brent Crude Oil Spot Price FOB (Dollars per Barrel). Available at http://www.quandl.com/DOE-US-Department-of-Energy/RBRTE-Europe-Brent-Crude-Oil-Spot-Price-FOB (Accessed: 05 November 2013)
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.
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.
Further help on accessing and using GMID see our Helping You – Research Guides section via our website.
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.
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:
- United Nations: Index to Official Statistical Agencies
- US Bureau of Statistics: Index of Official Statistical Agencies