The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Statistical offices have often recourse to benchmarking methods for compiling quarterly national accounts (QNA). Benchmarking methods employ quarterly indicator series (i) to distribute annual, more reliable series of national accounts and (ii) to extrapolate the most recent quarters not yet covered by annual benchmarks. The Proportional First Differences (PFD) benchmarking method proposed by Denton (1971) is a widely used solution for distribution, but in extrapolation it may suffer when the movements in the indicator series do not match consistently the movements in the target annual benchmarks. For this reason, an enhanced formula for extrapolation was recommended by the IMF's Quarterly National Accounts Manual: Concepts, Data Sources, and Compilation (2001). We discuss the rationale behind this technique, and propose a matrix formulation of it. In addition, we present applications of the enhanced formula to artificial and real-life benchmarking examples showing how the extrapolations for the most recent quarters can be improved.