Published on Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Beyond Cards: Measuring Spanish Consumption in Real Time and High Definition

We provide the first proof of concept that naturally occurring data from millions of financial transactions can be harnessed to estimate national accounts in real time and high definition

Key points

  • Key points:
  • We show how to build up the Consumption National accounts from different means of payments in both levels and growth.
  • We also show how relying only on Card transactions can lead to misleading results of consumption levels and growth given the upward bias of cards especially during post-covid recovery.
  • We design the first ever distributional account system of consumption consistent with national accounts. We show how to understand Inequality in Consumption from different aspects: levels, growth, categories of consumption, age, and gender.
  • We develop a set of consumption indicators in real time and high definition at national, regional, provincial and urban levels as well as at different categories as defined in national accounts. In addition, we can determine in detail the distribution of Co2 emissions in the consumption basket of Spanish households.
  • Finally, we show how this information in real time and high definition constitutes a powerful tool for analysts and policymakers. Information in high definition constitutes a good base for better diagnoses and, furthermore, opens the door for the implementation of smart policies.

Documents to download

  • Note (PDF)

    Economic-Watch_Beyond-Cards-_September-2020_including-inequality-Sep22-FV.pdf Spanish September 28, 2022


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