For the first time after the Great Recession we are measuring a September-to-September drop in German border crossing lorries: -1.8% for inbound and -4.3% for outbound.
Starting in July 2018 the BAG – Bundesamt für Güterverkeht introduced yet another policy change which affected how lorries pay tolls within the MAUT system as well as the data the come out of this process which is 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. Even the BAG had difficulty producing the numbers timely. September 2019 is now comparable to September 2018 values. Of course we have a missing value for September 2018 since it is not comparable to “September 2017” due to the policy change.
The Toll Index was first proposed in IZA DP5522 which ws 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.