Definition: Flash estimate

Statistical concept

A flash estimate for the most recent reference period T is the first official release of generally a hard economic indicator (Axis 2) computed before T + 1/2Δ T (Axis 7) and produced by the statistical institution in charge of the regular estimate (Axis 1), using an incomplete set of information (Axis 5) exploiting as much as possible all available hard data (Axis 2). A flash estimate is produced by using a methodology as adherent as possible to the one used for the regular estimates (Axis 4). Statistical techniques (Axis 6) can help in adjusting the temporary (Axis 3) incomplete observations. While hard data (Axis 2), if they are observed during the reference period (Axis 5 and 8) should be favored as much as possible, soft data (Axis 2) might be also used.

Explanation of axes:

Axis 1: The uniqueness of an official release versus the potential multiplicity of producers
Axis 2: The target variable
Axis 3: Revisions in the estimate
Axis 4: The adherence to the regular production process
Axis 5: The information set
Axis 6: Model versus parameter uncertainty
Axis 7: An appropriate release time
Axis 8: Reporting and reference period
Eurostat; United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), "Handbook on Rapid Estimates", Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 2017

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