Florian Misch, Brian Olden, Marcos Poplawski-Ribeiro, and Lamya Kejji
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
Traditionally, fiscal data for policy analysis are derived from official reports that, depending on
the country, are published either monthly, quarterly or annually, often with significant time lags.
However, innovations in digitalization of government payments and accounting systems mean
that real-time daily fiscal data exist in many countries. In this paper, we argue that these data
contain valuable, but underutilized and underexploited information. Possible uses include (i) realtime
fiscal surveillance which allows for much more timely responses to emerging signs of fiscal
stress, and (ii) nowcasting economic activity, which is especially useful in countries where higher
frequency GDP statistics are unavailable.