Quarterly Regional GDP Flash Estimates by Means of Benchmarking and Chain Linking

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Abstract

In this article we propose a methodology for estimating the GDP of a country’s different regions, providing quarterly profiles for the annual official observed data. Thus the article offers a new instrument for short-term monitoring that allows the analysts to quantify the degree of synchronicity among regional business cycles. Technically, we combine time-series models with benchmarking methods to process short-term quarterly indicators and to estimate quarterly regional GDPs ensuring their temporal and transversal consistency with the National Accounts data. The methodology addresses the issue of nonadditivity, explicitly taking into account the transversal constraints imposed by the chain-linked volume indexes used by the National Accounts, and provides an efficient combination of structural as well as short-term information. The methodology is illustrated by an application to the Spanish economy, providing real-time quarterly GDP estimates, that is, with a minimum compilation delay with respect to the national quarterly GDP. The estimated quarterly data are used to assess the existence of cycles shared among the Spanish regions.

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