Economics in a picture
Unprecedented fall of economic activity during the lockdown period
The disruptions caused by the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak in the global economy made clear the need to rely on high-frequency data to inform policy responses. In fact, traditional statistics are released with a lag and at a lower frequency, thus, not allowing to monitor sudden changes of economic activity.
Using daily data that aim to cover different dimensions of the economy, the authors propose a daily economic indicator (DEI) for Portugal, allowing to track the economy at a high-frequency. In particular, during the lockdown period, the DEI suggests a sharp drop of economic activity when the highest level of alert due to the COVID-19 pandemic was declared in March 12. It declined further, following the declaration of the state of emergency in the entire Portuguese territory in March 18, reflecting the constraint placed on the normal functioning of several activities. Finally, the DEI also points to an unprecedented decline in economic activity in the first half of April, with some signs of recovery from the end of that month.
For more details, see Lourenço and Rua (2020), “The DEI: tracking economic activity daily during the lockdown”, Banco de Portugal Working Paper 13.
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