Data Management

Fiscal Data Revisions In Europe

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Executive Summary

Public deficit figures are subject to revisions, as most macroeconomic aggregates are. Nevertheless, in the case of Europe, the latter could be particularly worrisome given the role of fiscal data in the functioning of EU's multilateral surveillance rules. Adherence to such rules is judged upon initial releases of data, in the framework of the so-called Excessive Deficit Procedure (EDP) Notifications. In addition, the lack of reliability of fiscal data may hinder the credibility of fiscal consolidation plans. In this paper the authors document the empirical properties of revisions to annual government deficit figures in Europe by exploiting the information contained in a pool of real-time vintages of data pertaining to fifteen EU countries over the period 1995-2008.

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