Can GDP measurement be further improved? Data revision and reconciliation

Jan P. A. M. Jacobs, Samad Sarferaz, Jan-Egbert Sturm, Simon van Norden

Research output: Working paperAcademic


Recent years have seen many attempts to combine expenditure-side estimates of U.S. real output (GDE) growth with income-side estimates (GDI) to improve estimates of real GDP growth. We show how to incorporate information from multiple releases of noisy data to provide more precise estimates while avoiding some of the identifying assumptions required in earlier work. This relies on a new insight: using multiple data releases allows us to distinguish news and noise measurement errors in situations where a single vintage does not. Our new measure, GDP++, fits the data better than GDP+, the GDP growth measure of Aruoba et al. (2016) published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. Historical decompositions show that GDE releases are more informative than GDI, while the use of multiple data releases is particularly important in the quarters leading up to the Great Recession.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

NameESCoE Discussion Paper

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