06 November 2010

I'm glad we use Eurostat for Spanish labor data

Edward Hughes warns us to be careful in interpreting Spanish labor data. It's a good lesson in the perils of trying to perceive changes on the margin from data not seasonally adjusted. Hughes is scathing in tone:
But the way they present the data isn’t interesting, in fact its downright misleading. In particular they chose not to seasonally adjust the data – which in a seasonally driven economy like the Spanish one with significant ups and downs in tourist activity doesn’t make much sense – and this omission is not only lazy, it is negligent. (Read the whole post.)
It turns out that although Spain's statistical agency's (INE's) unadjusted unemployment series shows month-on-month improvement, the seasonally adjusted series shows worsening.

For our own global macro database we have always relied on Eurostat's time series for Spain. We did this for one-stop shopping and comparability with the rest of the Euro Area.

Now we have another justification.

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