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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A new resource in Indian business cycle measurement

In order to make progress on doing macroeconomics in India, one weak link has been business cycle measurement. This, in turn, requires access to a wide range of seasonally adjusted time-series. In most countries, the infrastructure of seasonally adjusted data is produced by the statistical system, but in India this has not come about.

Seasonally adjusted series are particularly important in tracking current developments in the economy. The familiar year-on-year change is the moving average of the latest twelve monthly changes. In order to know what is happening in the economy, it is better to look at recent months, rather than looking back 12 months. The familiar y-o-y changes are a sluggish indicator of what is happening. Month-on-month changes are more informative: but this requires seasonal adjustment.

We have initiated some computation and release at

At present, we have a dataset with seasonally adjusted levels for a few time-series. We will be updating this every Monday. At the above URL, you get a sense of what is happening with month-on-month changes of seasonally adjusted data in these series.

In the spirit of creating public goods, we make it easy for you to embed these graphs into your work products. We also have a .csv file with data for levels which can be the foundation of further work.

This will be useful in tracking current developments in the economy, and also make possible research in macroeconomics, which critically requires seasonally adjusted data.

We hope this is useful. Please use the comments on this blog post to give us feedback.


Unknown said...

hi ajay,

thanks for this intiative

just a query - how does one determine the period of moving average... u have taken 4MMA of monthly annualized sesonal data.. i use 3mma , but without any basis..

Bhaskar Singh Negi said...

hi Arvind,

I think it(moving average period) should be broadly composed on the basis of underlying sectors of the economy(weighted average).

Since most corporates gives the financial performance on quaterly basis (i.e. 3 months) and the agriculture is a sector which has production cycles of 6 months....It should be anywhere between the 4 months seems a better way...

With due Regards,