Financial statistics

The OECD csv File Format


The OECD ASCII comma separated values (csv) format has been designed for easy bulk data transfer of OECD data files onto a database system. Data files are compressed into a zip file before being sent by e-mail or copied to a diskette.

1. General organisation of the files

1.1 Zip file

All data and information corresponding to a database are grouped in one compressed zip file for transfer by mail or on disk. The compression program used is Winzip.

1.2 Contents of Zip file

The compressed file contains one or several csv files, and in some cases other files containing documentation and statistical metadata. For example the OECD Main Economic Indicators contains the csv file, this document as a "readme.txt", the database notes and the metadata file. The database notes are a text file containing information on revisions in series, on the inclusion of new series and the suppression of others. The metadata file is an html file containing information on the definitions, sources, coverage, and calculation methods applicable to the series contained in the data file.

2. Record structure of the file

The file structure is the following:

The first record gives the list of fields in the correct order. The second records contain the time series, with the attributes and data as presented in the first record and separated by commas. When the data or the attribute is not available, there is nothing between the corresponding comas.

The fields used to store the time series and presented at the first record of the file are: code serie, A16 code, country, subject hierarchy, title, decimals, unit, then data, followed in each case by the corresponding control code. The dates years included are from 1960 to present: first the years, then the quarters and then the months.

The content of the fields is as follows:

Code serie: a string composed of a country code, a subject code, a measure code, a version code and an identifier for the frequency.
A16 code: a string containing the 13-character code that was used in the previous system.
Country: the name of the corresponding country.
Subject hierarchy: a string containing the position of the time series in the logical organisation of subjects.
Title: a string containing the English title of that particular time-series.
Decimals: number of decimals used for publication for that time series.
Unit: unit of measurement.
Data and control codes: value and qualifier. Values are expressed in the corresponding unit. In general there is no qualifier. The permitted qualifiers are: E and P for estimated value and R for break.

3. Examples of record

The following is an example of a first record:

"code serie","country","subject hierarchy","series title","decimals","unit","1960","control code","1961","control code","1962","control code","1963","control code","1964","control code","1965","control code","1966","control code","1967","control code","1968","control code","1969","control code","1970","control code","1971","control code","1972","control code","1973","control code","1974","control code","1975","control code","1976","control code","1977","control code","1978","control code","1979","control code","1980","control Â... etc.

The following is an example of a time series record corresponding to that description:

"AUS.BPBLIN01.NCCUSA.1","AUSTRALIA","Balance of Payments/Current Account Balance/Income/Total","AUS BOP NET INCOME SA",0,"$A",-247,",-249,",-240,",-295,",-279,",-307,",-304,",-405,",-492,",-523,",-612,",-605,",-567,",-687," ",-654,",-954,",-1316,",-1467,",-1681,",-2193,",-2370,",-2499,",-2488,",-3627,",-4807,",-6653,",-7544,",-8569,",-10872,",-13625," ",-16987,",-15870,",-13890,",-11971,",-17110,",-19476,",-19317,",-20034,",,",-59,",-66,",-61,",-61,",-74,",-64,",-45,",-66,",-49," ",-56,",-60,",-75,",-83,",-64,",-80,",-68,",-59,",-90,",-61,",-69,",-72,",-78,",-83,",-74,",-77,",-73,",-82,",-72,",-79,",-98," ",-100,",-128,",-106,",-128,",-127,",-131,",-117,",-138,", etc.