Economic Activity
High frequency data

Seven ways to use high-frequency data

How near real-time data can help you navigate an uncertain environment

Arnaud Lieugaut
May 28, 2021

COVID-19 is changing the economy so quickly that we now need a different kind of data to understand it. Monthly indicators based on government surveys are no longer adequate for analysing the abrupt changes caused by the pandemic. Since the start of the pandemic, economists, investors, policymakers and academics have become increasingly reliant on high-frequency data, which measures economic activity in near real time.

In addition to our world leading economic data, Macrobond offers alternative data and high-frequency indicators from more than 350 releases across 130 regions.

Here are some of the ways you can use this data to analyse and visualise the state of the global economy.

1.     US travel and tourism spending

A rise in the number of travellers passing TSA checks correlates with rise in tourism spending in the US.

Macrobond users, access the chart here


2.     Japan mobility and retail trade

Retail trade in Japan has broadly followed the movement of people – although it has remained relatively resilient this year even as footfall plummeted. Could this be attributed to the rise of e-commerce in the country?

Macrobond users, access the chart here

3.     London pedestrian traffic and retail trade

The lifting of lockdown restrictions earlier this year prompted more people to go outside – which in turn led to a surge in sales of clothing and footwear.

Macrobond users, access the chart here

4.     Germany truck tolls and industrial production

Looking at an index that tracks the tolls collected from large trucks on German motorways, we can see that an increase in the number of trucks on the road correlates closely to a rebound in industrial production.  

Macrobond users, access the chart here

5.     US restaurant bookings and credit card transactions 

An increase in table bookings matches a rise in credit card transactions – signalling the start of economic recovery.

Macrobond users, access the chart here

6.     UK lockdown restrictions as strict as those in Europe

The Stringency Index is a composite measure of metrics: school closures; workplace closures; cancellation of public events; restrictions on public gatherings; closures of public transport; stay-at-home requirements; public information campaigns; restrictions on internal movements; and international travel controls.

Here, we can see that the UK government’s response to the coronavirus is in line with those of authorities in the rest of Europe.

Macrobond users, access the chart here


7.      Israel credit card transactions

Spending on airlines and travel agencies predictably plummeted amid Covid-19 travel restrictions.

Macrobond users, access the chart here

Macrobond’s high-frequency datasets

The above charts show just a fraction of the datasets available via Macrobond. Others include:

·       Airport traffic

·       Air quality

·       Bankruptcies

·       COVID-19 vaccinations

·       Economic surprise indices

·       Electricity consumption

·       Food prices

·       Fuel prices

·       Hospital and ICU admissions

·       Nowcasts

·       Precipitation

·       Road traffic

·       Traffic congestion