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Robert Schall

1 July 2022
Since most macroeconomic data are revised after the initial release both researchers andpolicy-makers have no choice rather than recognising and understanding the revisions. Thispaper analyses revisions to the fiscal data in the euro area, also by contrasting them with the’better-understood’ macro revisions. Concretely, the study verifies whether fiscal revisionsfulfil requirements to treat them as well-behaved. To this end, we construct a fiscal quarterlyreal-time dataset, which contains quarterly releases of Government Finance Statistics andwhich is supplemented by macro variables from Main National Accounts. Fiscal revisionsdo not satisfy desirable properties expected from well-behaved revisions. In particular, theytend to have a positive bias, they exhibit a big dispersion and they are largely predictable.Also, they are similar to macro revisions, in particular since 2014, which contradicts theoften heard view about fiscal data being subject to particularly large revisions.
JEL Code
C80 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology, Computer Programs→General
E62 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Fiscal Policy