OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers

The OECD Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) leads OECD research on the contribution of science, technology and industry to well-being and economic growth. STI Working Papers cover a broad range of topics including definition and measurement of science and technology indicators, global value chains, and research on policies to promote innovation. These technical or analytical working papers are prepared by staff or outside consultants to share early insights and elicit feedback.


Short-Term Indicators

Using Qualitative Indicators to Update Production Indices

Short-term economic indicators play an important role in the assessment of current cyclical situations and in the establishment of forecasts. Broadly, two types of short-term indicators can be distinguished: qualitative indicators, reflecting businessmen’s subjective assessment of the cyclical situation (e.g., production prospects or judgements on orderbooks), and quantitative indicators, reflecting past developments of production or employment. The usefulness of qualitative indicators rests on their reliability to approximate the possible evolution of the quantitative ones.

The present document shows the results of a pilot study for six industrial sectors in seven Member countries whereby short-term qualitative indicators are used to “nowcast” a quantitative indicator, the production index. The objective is to enhance the timeliness of short-term industrial statistics through estimation of data points for the most recent periods for which they are not yet available.

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