New real-time database for the German economy

The Deutsche Bundesbank is expanding its data provision service. From Thursday, 20 August, a comprehensive real-time database will be available on the Bundesbank’s website.

In the past few years, the Bundesbank has been systemically collecting and processing the historical vintages of a large number of economic indicators. This extensive database, which is attracting growing interest from commentators on current economic developments and researchers alike, is now being made generally accessible to the public. The internet platform provided especially for this purpose offers a large number of different search options as well as tailor-made data exports. Not only is it possible to save the data in the usual output formats of Excel and CSV, but also to output them directly as tables or show them in graph form.

When first published, many economic data are initially provisional as they are partly based on estimates. They are thus subject to later statistical revision, which means that the results for the same reporting period may change over time. Real-time datasets store the vintages of macroeconomic time series in chronological order. This makes it possible, for example, not only to analyse how prone economic indicators are to revision and to trace the “revision history” of the results for individual periods, but also to reconstruct exactly the information base at a given point in time in the past. This is important both for assessing the quality of economic projections and for evaluating economic policy decisions against their historical background.

The real-time database currently contains historical vintages of some 280 economic indicators from the national accounts, the monthly business and labour market surveys as well as price statistics. Complete data vintages are available since May 2005 in the case of the national accounts and since November 2005 in the case of the monthly economic indicators. The data for the respective earlier time periods in the database were recorded manually and are subject to ongoing quality review. There are plans to incorporate data from other revision-prone accounting systems.

Further information is available upon request. The data will be available as of 20 August on the Bundesbank's website at