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New online portal tracks NZ’s GDP in real time

Credit: Massey University

A real-time gross domestic product (GDP) tracker, believed to be the first of its kind in the world, has been launched by New Zealand’s Massey University recently.

According to a recent report, GDPLive is an online portal that uses machine learning algorithms and the most up-to-date data possible, including live data sources.

It allows users to instantly see estimates of how the New Zealand economy is performing on a daily basis. Plus, it provides GDP forecasts.

As explained by a Professor from the University’s School of Economics and Finance, GDP measures all market-based transactions. Therefore, it is a very good indicator of how well an economy is performing.

The portal has been developed with the most up-to-date data from government sources and a diverse range of partners, including PayMark, KiwiRail and PortConnect.

This will aid in getting a sense of how the New Zealand economy is tracking in real time.

The use of cutting-edge machine learning technologies has provided informed forecasts, making it a valuable supplementary decision-making tool for businesses.

It will be a significant improvement on government reporting, which currently releases national GDP figures quarterly and regional figures annually.

Companies have given feedback that relying on three-month old data is too much of a lag in this day and age and they want live data to enhance their decisions.

This was what inspired Professor Schumacher to come up with an alternative that uses real-time data.

Moreover, the forecasts should help businesses to look into the future to determine what their industry might look like in two or three months.

The University’s Knowledge Exchange Hub, a multi-disciplinary research hub, developed the GDPLive project.

Dr Teo Susnjak, a computer scientist from the University, developed the predictive models. He explained that the portal will only become more accurate as additional data sources are added and the algorithms are refined.

They have noticed that, over time, the forecasts have improved as they continued to work on the models.

They are confident that as the data sources become richer and more descriptive, the forecasts will continue to improve.

Users of the interactive GDPLive portal can view historic data, current national and regional GDP figures and forecasts.

They can also get an overview of the performance of a large range of industry sectors.

The portal’s datasets include consumer spending through PayMark payment transactions; freight movements via PortConnect, which includes container movements through Ports of Auckland and Ports of Tauranga; and goods moved throughout the country on the KiwiRail network, traffic flows, immigration and import/export data.

Interested parties can access the GDPLive portal here.

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