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A Monthly Indicator of Economic Activity for Ireland

Thomas Conefrey () and Graeme Walsh

No 14/EL/18, Economic Letters from Central Bank of Ireland

Abstract: Deciphering the pace of growth in economic activity using standard National Accounts aggregates has become increasingly difficult in recent years. At the same time, a wide range of other high-frequency official data are published that shed light on the performance of the economy. This Economic Letter demonstrates how a single indicator can be extracted from a large monthly dataset to provide a timely assessment of economic activity. In line with reliable measures such as employment, the indicator shows that the economy moved into an expansionary phase around early 2013. The most recent data suggest that economic activity continues to grow at a robust pace, underpinned by improvements in the labour market. Based on a nowcasting framework, we describe how the indicator can be used to derive a real-time estimate of the rate of growth in underlying domestic demand.

Date: 2018-12
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