Nowcasting Business Cycles Using Toll Data
Article first published online: 9 NOV 2011
Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Journal of Forecasting
Volume 32, Issue 4, pages 299–306, July 2013
How to Cite
Askitas, N. and Zimmermann, K. F. (2013), Nowcasting Business Cycles Using Toll Data. J. Forecast., 32: 299–306. doi: 10.1002/for.1262
- Issue published online: 19 JUN 2013
- Article first published online: 9 NOV 2011
- business cycles;
- data mining;
- evaluating forecasts;
- macroeconomic forecasting;
- new products;
- production forecasting;
Nowcasting has been a challenge in the recent economic crisis. We introduce the Toll Index, a new monthly indicator for business cycle forecasting, and demonstrate its relevance using German data. The index measures the monthly transportation activity performed by heavy transport vehicles across the country and has highly desirable availability properties (insignificant revisions, short publication lags) as a result of the innovative technology underlying its data collection. It is coincident with production activity due to the prevalence of just-in-time delivery. The Toll Index is a good early indicator of production as measured, for instance, by the German Production Index, provided by the German Statistical Office, which is a well-known leading indicator of the gross national product. The proposed new index is an excellent example of technological, innovation-driven economic telemetry, which we suggest should be established more around the world. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.