Category:Glossary navigation page

Statistics are used as a daily reference and source of information to interpret how economic and social phenomena are evolving. Users require more and more timely statistical information in order to increase their ability to monitor the economic situation and to design effective economic and monetary policies. As a matter of fact, increasing timeliness of regular estimates is not easily achievable in the short-term. For this reason several statistical offices and international organisations have decided to release timelier estimates by means of statistical end econometric techniques to integrate, complement and in some cases replace, the statistical production process. Unfortunately, a certain lack of harmonization in labelling all these different statistical estimates has been observed. This is inter alia true for the terms used with regard to the estimations of key economic indicators.

Eurostat, in collaboration with the UNSD, has launched a series of initiatives in order to improve the availability of key indicators’ estimates and develop an early warning system in response to the recent financial and economic crisis. One of the needs identified has been that of clarifying "what is what" and to set up a glossary of statistical terms associated to the estimation of key economic indicators.

Several statistical glossaries are available in the literature or on the websites of statistical authorities. Nevertheless, the lack of consensus on the characteristics and boundaries of the statistical concepts covered requires a qualification of the statistical terms associated to the estimation of key economic indicators. A common operating terminology should facilitate the discussion and exchange of opinions among official statisticians and users, fostering a common understanding.

This glossary aims at clearly identifying the statistical concepts within the framework of economic analysis, focusing on short-term key economic indicators. The glossary covers statistical terms and concepts related to estimation and to the associated concepts. The target is to identify and qualify the estimation of a measure of a given short-term economic indicator for a given reference period in a specific point in time. Terms commonly used, such as rapid estimate, flash estimate, nowcast, forecast etc, are clarified in a common framework. In order to uniquely identify terms, the glossary is based on a set of axes which are needed to Who makes the evaluation, What is evaluated, How is the evaluation done and When it is done.

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