Toll Index July-November 2019

Monthly German border crossing activity by lorries has stalled on a year on year basis (accounting for working day differences) from July to November.

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. Since July 2019 each month is now comparable to the value of the same month in 2018. Of course we have a missing value for 2018 since it is not comparable to 2017 due to the policy change.

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):

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.

Toll Index November 2019 – stalled

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. Since July 2019 each month is now comparable to the value of the same month in 2018. Of course we have a missing value for 2018 since it is not comparable to 2017 due to the policy change.

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):

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.

UK elections 2019 – Odds, Polls, Google buzz

Based on Google Trends data  the Conservative party will beat the Labour party by about 7 percentage points in terms of the popular vote while the LibDems will trail the Conservatives by about 35 points.

The pollsters have the Conservatives leading Labour by anywhere between 6 and 15 percentage points in 14 polls in December with the average prediction at 9.5 pct points.

The bookies have the odds at 1/33 for a Conservative victory and 2/5 for an overall Conservative majority.

In Google search the footprints of Labour, Conservative and LibDems in the last seven days average to 42, 30 and 20 points respectively.

Labour always leads the Conservatives in Google buzz most likely due to demographics

 

We can still use the elections of 2015 and 2017 to take out party composition fixed effects from the Google data. When we do so we project that Labour will fall 5.4 to 8.5 percentage points behind the Conservatives in the popular vote while the LibDems will trail by 33.3 to 36.4 points.

Taxing times

Taxing times, by Michael Gold – The Economist Intelligence Unit

Contains a reference to my data tax idea, some quotes of mine and is an interesting read in its own right.

I have written about the Data Tax in: