Real-time data denotes information that is delivered immediately after collection. There is no delay in the timeliness of the information provided. Real-time data is often used for navigation or tracking.
Real-time data in economics
Real-time economic data, and other official statistics, are often based on preliminary estimates, and therefore are frequently adjusted as better estimates become available. These later adjusted data are called revised data. The terms real-time economic data and real-time economic analysis were coined by Francis X. Diebold and Glenn D. Rudebusch. Macroeconomist Glenn D. Rudebusch defined real-time analysis as 'the use of sequential information sets that were actually available as history unfolded.' Macroeconomist Athanasios Orphanides has argued that economic policy rules may have very different effects when based on error-prone real-time data (as they inevitably are in reality) than they would if policy makers followed the same rules but had more accurate data available.
In order to better understand the accuracy of economic data and its effects on economic decisions, some economic organizations, such as the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia and the Euro-Area Business Cycle Network (EABCN), have made databases available that contain both real-time data and subsequent revised estimates of the same data.
- ALFRED: Archival Federal Reserve Economic Data, real-time data series at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
- Real-time data set for macroeconomists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia
- Real-time database of the EABCN
- Wade, T. and Sommer, S. eds. A to Z GIS
- Dean Croushore (2011), 'Frontiers of Real-Time Data Analysis'. Journal of Economic Literature 49 (1), pp. 72-100.
- Francis X. Diebold and Glenn D. Rudebusch (1991), 'Forecasting Output with the Composite Leading Index: A Real-Time Analysis'. Journal of the American Statistical Association 86 (415), pp. 603–10.
- Glenn D. Rudebusch (2002), 'Assessing Nominal Income Rules for Monetary Policy with Model and Data Uncertainty'. Economic Journal 112 (479), pp. 402–32
- A. Orphanides and J.C. Williams (2006), 'Monetary Policy under Imperfect Knowledge'. Journal of the European Economic Association 4 (2-3), pp. 366-375.