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  Title RTD - Real Time Database (research database)

  Data source European Central Bank

  Contact email address Statistical Information Request form
  Dataset last update in SDW 2022-04-21 12:19:00
  Catalog Download the series catalogue of the dataset RTD in CSV format, i.e. full list of series and associated metadata: Excel 2013 (zipped) or the earlier Excel versions.
  Data presentation - Summary 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 Economic Bulletin (EBu), and previously in the ECB"s Monthly Bulletin (MoBu). It is updated semi-annually, at the beginning of January and July.

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).

  Data presentation - Detailed description It contains indicators published in the EBu (previously 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 EBu. 

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 technical documentation , prior to proceeding with the data download. See the section on "Dissemination" for downloading the data.

  Time period Monthly, Quarterly and Annually

  Statistical concepts and definitions For information about the naming convention (series key dimensions and metadata), refer to the RTD underlying DSD (ECB_RTD1) maintained by the ECB.
  Quality management The data quality for RTD is guaranteed by the data quality at series level. RTD series are recoding of other series in SDW. To see the original series, please navigate to the quickview page, More attributes: the underlying series is stored under the attribute "Domestic series ID"

  Release policy The dataset is updated semi-annually (at the beginning of January and July).

  Release policy - user access 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. 

  Dissemination format Beside the access to the data through the above websites, the various data vintages can be downloaded. 

CSV files, related to vintages up to 2014 included, are accessible on the following page: RTDB CSV files

For downloading the RTD vintages from 2015 onwards, an “history” function is available: Icon "V" (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 vintages are available independently from the frequency of the series. 

How to download the vintages* (better to use Chrome to avoid IE URL limitation length)?

  • For a series: on the RTD Data Selection page click on the Vintage icon next to a series. The Vintage History page opens displaying, by default, the latest 100 days. To get the latest vintages, in the section Parameters and Transformations, click on Reset settings**; then set Show days of Dataset Vintage to 10000 to display/download the complete history, or any other number that covers the period of interest, like 180 at the time of the RTD dataset update to only extract the latest 4 vintages (half a year). Go to Data download and select the CSV export.
    The url obtained can then be adapted for any RTD series and vintage numbers you find relevant for your work, in replacing the series key and days in bold in
  • For a RTD (sub)dataset: on the RTD Data Selection page, select a series and go to the Data Table or Data Chart page to set up the History snapshot date you are interested in**. Go back to the Data Selection page, (un)select all series to get the full dataset or select the subset of relevant series. Go to Download data and choose the export in CSV - Character Separated. Repeat the steps for other vintages. 
    In case your selection of relevant series is <=50, select them on the Data Selection page, go and then stay on the Data Table or Data Chart page for selecting the History snapshot date and downloading data. 
*   For the vintage dates, see Governing Council monetary policy decision dates.

** The date selection through the History snapshot date parameter applies to any future SDW views, until you press Reset Settings to clear the dates. Currently only available on the Data Table or Data Chart page it will also become available under My Settings around mid-April 2020.

  Documentation on methodology 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. 

  Metadata last update 03/DEC/2020 18:04:26

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