Technical reports

Pre-release of the World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2015

The first chapter on global economic outlook of the WESP 2015 will be launched on 10 December in New York. A joint product of UN DESA, UNCTAD and the five United Nations regional commissions, this publication provides an overview of recent global economic performance and short-term prospects for the world economy and of some key global economic policy and development issues. One of its purposes is to serve as a point of reference for discussions on economic, social and related issues taking place in various United Nations entities during the year.


Statistical compilations


Monthly Bulletin of Statistics and MBS Online


The Monthly Bulletin of Statistics presents current economic and social statistics for more than 200 countries and territories of the world.  It contains over 50 tables of monthly and/or bimonthly, quarterly and annual data on a variety of subjects illustrating important economic trends and developments, including population, prices, employment and earnings, energy, manufacturing, transport, construction, international merchandise trade and finance.

Vol. LXVIII – No. 10, October 2014

In addition to the regular recurrent monthly tables, this issue includes quarterly and annual tables: Retail price indices relating to living expenditures of United Nations officials; Civil aviation traffic: passenger-km and cargo net ton-km; and Total exports and imports by countries or areas: volume, unit value, terms of trade and purchasing power of exports, in US dollars.


2011 Energy Balances and Electricity Profiles


The publication provides energy balances for 141 countries for the period 2008-2011 and electricity profiles for 221 countries for the period 2006-2011. The energy balances are snapshots of the annual energy flows in each country showing energy production, trade, transformation and consumption of energy products. They are presented in a common unit – Terajoules. The electricity profiles provide detailed information for each country on the production, trade and consumption of electricity, net installed capacity and thermal power plant input and efficiency.

The publication is bi-lingual (English and French) and will soon be available in printed and electronic (PDF format) versions.

2011 Industrial Commodity Statistics Yearbook

The 2011 Industrial Commodity Statistics Yearbook has been finalized by the UN Statistics Division. The Yearbook includes value and volume data from 2002 to 2011 for about 200 countries and areas comprising about 600 products. The data cover products produced by mining, manufacturing, electricity and gas units (i.e. units classified in section B, C, or D in ISIC Rev.4). The products reported have been selected based on their overall importance in the world economy, and are collected on the basis of production sold.

In this edition of the Yearbook, about 30,000 value and volume data have been added or updated as compared to the 2010 Yearbook.

The data from the Yearbook, as well as older data back to 1995, are available for browsing or downloading from the UNdata website.


Issued in Translation

The following publications have been translated into French and Spanish:

  • Guidelines on Integrated Economic Statistics, French, ST/ESA/STAT/SER.F/108, Sales: 12.XVII.7
  • World’s Women 2010: Trends and Statistics, Spanish, ST/ESA/STAT/SER.K/19, Sales: 10.XVII.11


Outreach material


Enable Newsletter

Prepared by the Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (SCRPD) within UN DESA’s Division for Social Policy and Development, the October issue is now available. The newsletter features input from UN offices, agencies, funds and programmes, and civil society.

Sustainable Development in Action, Volume 2, Issue 10

The November issue of Sustainable Development in Action, published by UN DESA’s Division for Sustainable Development, is available online featuring topics related to the Global Sustainable Development Report, the negotiations of the General Assembly on the post-2015 development agenda, a sustainable development quiz and more. The newsletter aims to feature the work carried out by Member States, United Nations system, Major Groups and other relevant stakeholders in implementing sustainable development and leading the way to the Future We Want.


The latest issue provides updates on the booklet “Working with ECOSOC – an NGO Guide to Consultative Status,” which is now available in French, it informs about pre-registration for CSW59 being open through 27 January 2015 and about a deadline approaching for requests to make oral statements at the Fifty-Third Session of the Commission for Social Development. The newsletter is published by UN DESA’s NGO Branch.


Working Papers

Recent Downturn in Emerging Economies and Macroeconomic Implications for Sustainable Development: A case of India

The paper discusses the progress of the Indian economy and its policies since the broad-based structural reforms initiated in 1991 with a special focus on the recent downturn following the global financial crisis. The paper is structured into two parts where the first discusses the major economic and social achievements of India since 1991. It identifies the causes of the recent downturn, and the policy responses to revive the economy. In the second part, the paper outlines the major challenges India is facing and the policies and reforms that need to be implement to achieve sustainable development.

Absorbing innovative financial flows: Looking at Asia

This paper explores the scope for Innovative Development Finance (IDF) to compensate for declining Official Development Assistance (ODA) and/or to enhance the efficiency of ODA. It shows that IDF has not helped much to increase the volume of aid. With regard to efficiency, the role of IDF-related mechanisms remains controversial. Instead, it may be more productive to focus on other resources available to Asia. The paper points to two such resources, namely the surpluses accumulated in the form of reserves, Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs), etc. and the migrant remittances. Efficient utilization of these two sources can vastly change the development finance landscape in Asia.


Discussion papers


Monthly Briefing on the World Economic Situation and Prospects No. 72

Prepared by UN DESA’s Development Policy and Analysis Division, the November issue is available online with the following summary:

– Sharp decline of oil prices and renewed volatility in financial markets
– Low inflation in Europe remains a concern
– Diverging monetary policies in developed economies