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RTD - Real Time Database (research database)

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  Dataset contact e-mail
 Contact person Statistics hotline,
European Central Bank DG Statistics
 Address PO Box 16 03 19
Frankfurt am Main
Germany, D-60066
Data Go to the top of RTD - Real Time Database (research database).
  Dataset description The Euro Area Real-Time Database (RTDB) is an experimental dataset that consists of vintages, or snapshots, of time series of several variables, based on series reported in the ECB’s Monthly Bulletin (MoBu).

The database has been constructed in the context of the Real-Time DataBase (RTDB) project that is being coordinated by the Euro Area Business Cycle Network (EABCN). An in-depth presentation of this euro area RTDB can be found in ECB Working Paper No 1145, entitled “An area-wide real-time database for the euro area” by D. Giannone, J. Henry, M. Lalik and M. Modugno (January 2010).

It contains indicators published in the MoBu, however, it focuses mainly on raw series (mainly indexes, levels and absolute values) instead of derived values (annual percentage changes) which were actually reported. Users are expected to perform relevant calculations to derive transformed data by using a software of their choice.

The dataset was constructed by retrieving data stored in so called “frozen” databases which were used to produce MoBu’s statistical tables since January 2001. However, for selected 38 variables the vintages were reconstructed back to 1999 but are made available in CSV format only (see Dissemination pane).
The “freezing” procedure always takes place on a working day ahead of the Governing Council meeting at precise time 3.30 p.m.

It should be noted that the technology behind storage databases has evolved over the time and that the quality of early vintages might be in some cases lower due to the lack of good electronic sources available at that time. The quality of these vintages should not be in any case related to the quality of the MoBu itself as the proof reading of the later always ensures the accuracy of numbers published.

All indicators in the dataset follow a so called “policy concept”, i.e. they are reported according to the methodology adopted at the time of their publication. For example, the data on GDP at constant prices were replaced by chain indices in November 2005. The dataset reflects this fact as a revision to the GDP series.
When using euro area data one should also be particularly aware of a specific definition of the euro area applied. A detailed explanation of various euro area compositions can be found in General Notes of the MoBu.

Bearing in mind all these limitations, the dataset should be used for research purposes only and the time series included should not be treated as reference data. For most up to date indicators users should refer to other sections of the SDW.

It is recommended to become familiar with the dataset’s technical documentation, prior to proceeding with the data download.

How to download the data

On the Data Selection page click on the Vintage icon located on the right hand side of each series. The Vintage History page should open displaying, by default, the latest 100 days. In order to display/download the complete history, set “Show days of Dataset Vintage” to 10000 (or any other large number that would cover the period of interest). To download the data, choose the CSV export type from the drop-down list located in the bar on top of the page and then click on the Export button.

  Documentation The technical documentation contains description of each series included in the RTDB. It is divided into main blocks (annual, quarterly, and monthly) and then further into economic concept related blocks. The concept related blocks start with general information applicable to all series within the block and then the series-specific details follow.
See also the ECB Working Paper No 1145 "An area-wide real-time database for the euro area" by D. Giannone, J. Henry, M. Lalik and M. Modugno (January 2010).

Please be aware that, as of November 2014, real-time data refer to the new standard on the European System of Accounts ESA 2010 and to the new standard Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual (BPM6).

Please be also aware that from 2015 onwards the RTD dataset reflects the new Economic Bulletin, the first issue of which was published on the 5th of February 2015. In addition a new “history” SDW function is now available for downloading the RTD monthly vintages: Icon “V” (dataset vintage) next to the series key in the data selection page or on the quick view (e.g. quick view of the RTD series key RTD.A.S0.N.F_CEC_CGG_D0.F), where monthly vintages are available independently from the frequency of the series.
  Update frequency As of January 2015 the dataset is updated semi-annually.
  Catalog Download the series catalogue (complete list of series) of the dataset RTD (Public) (including the metadata): CSV or the Excel version.
Access by the public Go to the top of RTD - Real Time Database (research database).
  Dissemination Until December 2009 data was available in CSV format on a predecessor of the current Euro Area Business Cycle Network website.
As of January 2010 data is disseminated to the ECB Statistical Data Warehouse. CSV files are available on the following page: RTDB CSV files