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Direction of Trade (ICPSR 7628)

Principal Investigator(s): International Monetary Fund


These time series data supply detailed information on imports and exports for various countries and geographical areas of the world. Countries are grouped into three main categories: (1) Industrial Countries, (2) Developing Countries, and (3) USSR, Eastern Europe, etc. Along with data from reporting countries, estimates are provided by partner countries for nonreporting countries or for those that are slow to report. A subset of these data (Part 4), containing annual data from 1948 to 1978, is available as well.

Series: Direction of Trade Series

Access Notes

  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions. Please log in so we can determine if you are with a member institution and have access to these data files.


DS0:  Study-Level Files
DS1:  Original IMF File, 1948 Through April-May 1998. Includes COBOL Programs. - Download All Files (28.524 MB)
DS4:  Annual Data: 1948-1978: Processed Data - Download All Files (34.784 MB)
SAS    SPSS    Stata    R    ASCII    Excel/TSV
ASCII + SAS Setup    SPSS Setup    Stata Setup   
DS6:  Yearly Records Extracted from Original IMF Data File [additional data] - Download All Files (290.463 MB) large file
SAS    SPSS    Stata    R    ASCII    Excel/TSV
ASCII + SAS Setup    SPSS Setup    Stata Setup   
DS7:  Quarterly Records Extracted from Original IMF Data File [additional data] - Download All Files (602.261 MB) large file
SAS    SPSS    Stata    R    ASCII    Excel/TSV
ASCII + SAS Setup    SPSS Setup    Stata Setup   
DS8:  Monthly Records Extracted from Original IMF Data File [additional data] - Download All Files (2037.202 MB) large file
SAS    SPSS    Stata    R    ASCII    Excel/TSV
ASCII + SAS Setup    SPSS Setup    Stata Setup   

Study Description


International Monetary Fund. Direction of Trade. ICPSR07628-v2. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2014-10-23. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR07628.v2

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR07628.v2

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    balance of trade, developing nations, economic behavior, economic indicators, exports, financial policy, foreign affairs, government expenditures, Gross National Product, imports, industrial nations, international economics, international trade, markets, nations

Smallest Geographic Unit:    Country

Geographic Coverage:    Afghanistan, Africa, Albania, Algeria, American Samoa, Angola, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Asia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bermuda Islands, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Botswana, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Cayman Islands, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China (Peoples Republic), Colombia, Comoros, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, East Timor, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Europe, Falkland Islands, Faroe Islands, Fiji, Finland, France, French Guiana, French Polynesia, Gabon, Gambia, Gaza Strip, Georgia (Republic), Germany, Ghana, Gibralter, Global, Greece, Greenland, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guam, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macao, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Martinique, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States), Moldova, Mongolia, Montserrat, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, North America, North Korea, Norway, Oman, Pacific Ocean, Pakistan, Palau, Palestine, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Pitcairn Island, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Reunion, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Saint Helena, Saint Kitts-Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, South America, South Korea, Soviet Union, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Vietnam (Socialist Republic), Wake Island, Wallis and Futuna, Western Samoa, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Time Period:   

  • 1948--1998

Date of Collection:   

  • 1948--1998

Universe:    Approximately 180 countries and geographical areas.

Data Type(s):    administrative records data, aggregate data, event/transaction data, program source code, survey data

Data Collection Notes:

Due to an agreement between ICPSR and the IMF, this study is available only to users at ICPSR member institutions. Those who wish to use the study and are at non-member institutions should contact the IMF directly.

ICPSR's subscription with the the IMF for monthly updates of the DIRECTION OF TRADE (ICPSR 7628) series expired with the July 1998 tapes.

Part 1 data are stored in the packed zoned decimal format as distributed by the IMF. A supplemental COBOL processing program is available for use with this data file in the zipped package file (pkg07628-0001.zip). Datasets 2, 3 and 5 are no longer distributed. Datasets 6, 7 and 8, respectively, comprise the yearly, quarterly, and monthly records as extracted from the IMF data file.

The legacy documentation also documents the following IMF studies: DIRECTION OF TRADE (ICPSR S07628), INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL STATISTICS (ICPSR S07629), BALANCE OF PAYMENTS STATISTICS (ICPSR S08623), and GOVERNMENT FINANCE STATISTICS (ICPSR S08624). The original codebook is part of dataset 1 for all four studies. Dataset 4 was reprocessed and now includes the current suite of ICPSR distribution files. The legacy documentation now distributed with this collection was distributed as the codebook for dataset 4 in previous releases of this study.

Each time series in Part 1 can contain a variable number of logical records. The exact number of records in any time series in this collection is dependent upon the availability of annual, quarterly, and monthly data for trading partners. Approximately 61,000 time series are included in this collection.

The term "country," as used in this dataset, does not in all cases refer to a territorial entity that is a state as understood by international law and practice. The term also covers some territorial entities that are not states but for which statistical data are maintained and provided internationally on a separate and independent basis. Data are expressed in millions of United States dollars.

All exports are valued "free on board" (f.o.b.) and all imports "cost, insurance, and freight" (c.i.f.).

Three datasets have been added to the collection. The new datasets comprise the yearly, quarterly, and monthly records extracted from the IMF data file. The variable extraction was performed using SAS's PROC DATASOURCE. Data files generated by this extraction were subsequently processed using ICPSR's automated production routine. The new data files should be considered as minimally processed as no variable value checks or comparisons were performed. The layout and/or content of the new data files may not match those of the original data files. The codebooks for each new dataset document only the variables in that dataset's data file and should be used in conjunction with the legacy documentation.


Weight:    Data for Parts 1, 4, 6, 7 and 8 are not weighted. The data do not contain a weight variable.

Mode of Data Collection:    record abstracts

Data Source:

Central bank reports and bulletins, IMF area departments, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, International Labor Organization, IMF Treasurer's Department, the United Nations, the National Bureau of Economic Research, and information from national authorities.

Restrictions: ICPSR obtained these data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) under the terms of a contract that states that the data are for the sole use of ICPSR and may not be sold or provided to third parties outside of the ICPSR membership. Individuals at institutions that are not members of ICPSR may obtain these data directly from the IMF.


Original ICPSR Release:   1984-05-11

Version History:

  • 2014-10-23 Three datasets have been added comprising yearly, quarterly, and monthly records extracted from the original IMF data file in part 1 of this collection using SAS's PROC DATASOURCE. The Annual Data: 1948-1978 data file and the yearly, quarterly, and monthly data files have been processed using ICPSR's automated production routine as Part 4, 6, 7, and 8, respectively. These four parts include SPSS, SAS, and Stata setup files, SAS transport (CPORT) file, tab-delimited ASCII data file, R data file, and Variable description and Frequencies. The legacy codebook in Part 4 is now being distributed as a Data Documentation File. The COBOL FUNPACK program previously distributed as part 5 is now included in the zipped package file (pkg07628-0001.zip).

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