Statistics: Expense (% of GDP)
Definition: Expense (% of GDP)
Expense is cash payments for operating activities of the government in providing goods and services. It includes compensation of employees (such as wages and salaries), interest and subsidies, grants, social benefits, and other expenses such as rent and dividends.
Development relevance: Expense (% of GDP)
Limitations and Exceptions: Expense (% of GDP)
For most countries central government finance data have been consolidated into one account, but for others only budgetary central government accounts are available. Countries reporting budgetary data are noted in the country metadata. Because budgetary accounts may not include all central government units (such as social security funds), they usually provide an incomplete picture. In federal states the central government accounts provide an incomplete view of total public finance. Data on government revenue and expense are collected by the IMF through questionnaires to member countries and by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Despite IMF efforts to standardize data collection, statistics are often incomplete, untimely, and not comparable across countries.
Statistical concept and methodology: Expense (% of GDP)
The IMF's Government Finance Statistics Manual 2014, harmonized with the 2008 SNA, recommends an accrual accounting method, focusing on all economic events affecting assets, liabilities, revenues, and expenses, not just those represented by cash transactions. It accounts for all changes in stocks, so stock data at the end of an accounting period equal stock data at the beginning of the period plus flows over the period. The 1986 manual considered only debt stocks. Government finance statistics are reported in local currency. Many countries report government finance data by fiscal year; see country metadata for information on fiscal year end by country.