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Undertaking Revisions and Real-Time Data Analysis using the OECD Main Economic Indicators Original Release Data and Revisions Database

Listed author(s):
  • Richard McKenzie
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    The first releases of official statistics are often revised in subsequent releases, sometimes substantially. Such revisions can impact on policy decisions, as revisions to first published data may alter the previous assessment of the state of the economy. This may occur through a changed interpretation based on the revised data itself or the impact the revision may have on econometric models which may incorporate several statistics, each subject to revision. Whilst this is a recognised issue of key importance, most producers of official statistics do not quantify expected revisions to their data and economists do not have the required data to test the sensitivity of their econometric models to revisions in input data. This important gap in knowledge required to effectively use official statistics, and demands from central banks motivated the OECD to develop a unique new product: the Main Economic Indicators Original Release Data and Revisions Database, now freely available at: . Accessing this source of originally published data will enable analysts to test the likely effectiveness of econometric models in simulated real-time. It will also enable producers of official statistics to study the magnitude and direction of subsequent revisions to published data which can lead to a better understanding of the statistical compilation process, enabling problems to be identified and improvements to be made. Revisions analysis also provides important information to users on the robustness of first estimates... Les premières publications des statistiques officielles sont souvent révisées dans des publications ultérieures, parfois substantiellement. Les révisions des données initiales peuvent avoir une incidence sur les décisions de politique économique car elles peuvent modifier l'appréciation portée antérieurement sur l'état de l'économie. En effet, l'analyse même des données révisées peut donner lieu à une nouvelle interprétation et la révision peut avoir une incidence sur les modèles économétriques intégrant parfois plusieurs statistiques, chacune sujette à révision. Bien qu'il s'agisse d'une question dont l?importance centrale est reconnue, la plupart de ceux qui produisent des statistiques officielles ne quantifient pas les révisions attendues de leurs données et les économistes ne disposent pas des données nécessaires pour tester la sensibilité de leurs modèles économétriques aux révisions des données utilisées pour les établir. Cette lacune importante dans les connaissances requises pour utiliser efficacement les statistiques officielles et les exigences des banques centrales ont incité l'OCDE à élaborer un nouveau produit unique : la Base de données de l'OCDE : « Principaux indicateurs économiques : première publication des données et révisions ultérieures. », désormais accessible gratuitement sur le site : L'accès à cette source de données initiales permettra aux analystes de tester l'efficacité probable des modèles économétriques en temps réel simulé. Il permettra aussi aux producteurs de statistiques officielles d'étudier l'importance et l'orientation des révisions apportées ultérieurement aux données publiées, ce qui devrait conduire à une meilleure compréhension du processus d'établissement des statistiques, faciliter la mise en évidence des problèmes et donner lieu à des améliorations. L'analyse des révisions fournit aussi des informations importantes aux utilisateurs sur la robustesse des premières estimations...

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    Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Statistics Working Papers with number 2006/2.

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    Date of creation: 14 Sep 2006
    Handle: RePEc:oec:stdaaa:2006/2-en
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