A whopping 24% drop in incoming lorries (-22% for outbound) compared to April of 2019 (controlling for number of working days). Larger drop than in the great recession.
Starting in July 2018 the BAG – Bundesamt für Güterverkehr introduced yet another policy change which affected how lorries pay tolls within the MAUT system as well as the data that come out of this process which are used for computing the Toll Index. The change expanded the network of roads in which toll is due by adding all bundesstraßen to it.
While in the long run this is bound to make the Toll Index more accurate in these past twelve months it made it useless for nowcasting. Moreover the BAG had difficulty producing the numbers timely for about year. After July 2019 we can report year on year changes for each month (with a missing value in 2018 for all months from July to December and a missing value in 2019 for all months from January to June.
The Toll Index was first proposed in IZA DP5522 which was published in the Journal of Forecasting. It has been widely covered in national and international media (selection):
- Focus Magazin,
- Tim Harford – The undercover economist,
- Financial Times,
- CNN International,
- DRS3 Swiss public radio,
- Deutsche Welle.
The German statistical office, in cooperation with the Bundesamt für Güterverkehr, has taken the MAUT data in its portfolio of data products and their efforts can be found here. The Destatis document describing the data is here and here is their publication calendar for 2019.