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Overview of Programme of the
Working Group on Flash Estimates of GDP
Roberto Barcellan
European Commission - Eurostat
A system of rapid estimates: different
products for different purposes
 Which products are rapid estimates and what are the
differences among them?
Flash estimates
Advanced-preliminary estimates
 What are these products fit for?
 For which products national statistical institutes have to
be responsible?
Minimum quality requirements
 Which should be the minimum quality requirements for
rapid estimates:
 Timeliness : pre-defined or ad hoc?
 Reliability – accuracy: how to measure it?
 Coverage: minimum thresholds?
 What are the trade-offs between quality requirements?
Technical issues
 use of hard and soft data
– Should a minimum amount of hard data be required?
– Can soft data (surveys) be used?
 Statistical and econometric techniques
– Econometrics?
– Adherence to the production process of regular estimates?
 revision policy and rapid estimates
– Rapid estimates only for the last period
– Revisions of previous estimates?
Creating a “culture” of rapid estimates
 Communication
 Transparency
 Create expectations: pre-fixed release windows?
 Define which estimate for which purpose
 Dashboard
Alternative to rapid estimates
 Are there alternative to rapid estimates?
 Monthly estimates of GDP instead of Quarterly rapid
estimates of GDP
 New estimates based on, for example, internet (the
Google experience)
 Alternative: no rapid estimates
Towards an international approach to rapid
 Is there a need to coordinate the approach to rapid
estimates at international level?
 High level group on rapid estimates
– What should be their mandate?
 Sharing best practices
– How to organise it?
 Establish legal frameworks?
 International roadmap for implementation?
 Coordination of communication aspects
Recommendations for UNSC
 Glossary
 Collect and consolidate the information on the
availability of rapid estimates
 Handbook on rapid estimates
 Expert group on rapid estimates
 Implementation plans
 Strengthen national capacity
 Promote a “rapid estimates culture”
Way forward
 Lauch the collection of information on availability and
compilation processes
 Set up the expert group
 Glossary (end 2011) – broad endorsement
 Handbook (end 2012) – broad endorsement
 Long term development agenda
Thank you for your attention!