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Riksbank: Real-time data provides information support during rapid cyclical turnarounds

Sudden cyclical fluctuations, such as those of recent months, mean that the Riksbank needs information more rapidly and more frequently than many traditional statistical products can provide. To gain a quick oversight of how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting the Swedish economy, the Riksbank has expanded its collection of high-frequency data with real-time indicators, as a complement to the usual statistics.

This Economic Commentary provides examples of data being used by the Riksbank at the moment. This includes everything from card transactions to making use of Internet data on the amount of searches for certain words or prices for fruit and vegetables. In many cases, the indicators are deemed able to give a fair and clear view of the development of demand, the labour market and prices.

Thanks to the lessons and skills learned in earlier projects on big data in recent years, the Riksbank has been able to get started relatively quickly with collecting and including new types of high-frequency data in its analysis. There is a lot to suggest that real-time indicators will become a more important source of data for policy analyses in the period ahead.

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