Presented by: Nick Bate and Alastair Firrell (Bank of England)
The vast majority of traditional economic indicators are published with lags of at least a few weeks. Moreover, many of them are ill-suited to capturing the extent of the decline in activity after the COVID-19 outbreak. Consequently, given the speed and magnitude of the changes in economic activity since the onset of the pandemic, there has been a rapid expansion in the use of “fast” indicators of economic activity both in the UK and abroad. This presentation sets out the main issues faced by the Bank of England in incorporating faster indicators into its monitoring of the economy after the COVID-19 outbreak, some of the new data sources it is now employing to gauge economic activity and the data science techniques involved in assimilating them.