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Potential of Search Data in Assessment of Current Economic Conditions

April 18, 2013
Azusa Matsumoto*1
Kohei Matsumura*2
Noriyuki Shiraki*3
Research and Statistics Department
Bank of Japan


One of the problems in economic assessments is the time lag between economic activities and publication for most economic indicators.  In order to address this issue, anecdotal information obtained from companies is often used as supplement material.  In recent years, the development and spread of information and communications technology has made it possible to obtain a wide range of information with shorter lags, and led to the emergence of a technique called "nowcasting" that uses this information to forecast currently unreleased data.  This paper contains a brief explanation of nowcasting and then examines a method using Internet search data that has garnered so much attention in recent years and the potential to use it in economic assessments.  The paper includes an analysis of service consumption (travel) before and after the Great East Japan Earthquake and finds that travel-related search data provides valuable information for the nowcasting of outlays for travel. 

  • *1E-mail : ; currently at the Hiroshima Branch
  • *2E-mail : ; currently at the Monetary Affairs Department
  • *3E-mail :


This is an abridged English translation of the Japanese original released in January 2013.

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