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Predictions vs. preliminary sample estimates: the case of eurozone quarterly GDP

Enrico D'Elia ()

No 2, Working Papers from Department of the Treasury, Ministry of the Economy and of Finance

Abstract: Economic agents are aware to incur in a loss basing their decisions on their own extrapolations instead of sound statistical data, but the loss could be smaller than the one related to waiting for the dissemination of final data. A broad guidance in deciding when statistical offices should release preliminary and final estimates of the key statistics may come from comparing the loss attached to users’ predictions to the loss associated to possible preliminary estimates from incomplete samples provides. Also the cost of delaying decisions for many economic agents may support the dissemination of very early estimates of economic indicators even if their accuracy is not fully satisfactory from a strict statistical viewpoint. Analysing the vintages of releases of quarterly Euro area GDP supports the view that even very inefficient predictions may beat some official preliminary releases of GDP, suggesting that the current calendar of data dissemination deserves some adjustment. In particular, actual “flash” estimates could be anticipated, while some later intermediate releases are likely less informative for the users.

Keywords: Accuracy; data dissemination; eurozone GDP; forecast; preliminary estimates; timeliness (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C44 C49 C82 C83 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 27
Date: 2014-03
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eec and nep-for
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