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):
- 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.