Toll Index May 2017 – unusual

This May is unusual in many respects. First: it follows an exceptional month of April in terms of border crossing activity. Second: the number of border crossing trucks this May is at its highest ever for the month of May on a per working day basis.  Third: this May represents a month-on-month decline. After May we expect the seasonally explained descend of the Toll Index.

The data is available at the Data Repository of the IDSC – Research Data Center of IZA. The paper we first studied the properties of these data is published at the Journal of Forecasting.

The Toll Index has been widely covered in national and international press (selection):

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UK snap Elections 2017: Conservatives gain from Terror Attack

Election day today in the UK and it is hard to know how to interpret the contrast between polls and Google search. While the polls have been showing the conservatives to be in the lead – although the margin has been melting away – the real star in Google search has been the Labour Manifesto leading the Conservative Manifesto by an ever increasing margin. I suspect an argument can be made that if we adjust the levels of Search and Polls, to account for perhaps demographic differences between Labour and Conservative voters,  we could at least have a consistent picture as far as the trends go. One last thing that is interesting is to see whether or not the London Bridge Terror attack had a lasting impact on political sentiment in some way. I had published the impact on twitter a few days back. Is it permanent? I recomputed the graph with fresh data. As we can see the searches for Labour Manifesto had a permanent drop by about 7 percentage point while the Conservative manifesto has grown by as far as 5 percentage points. The Liberals lost all gains it seems but SNP nibbled upwards and UKIP was able to hold on to about half of their four percentage point gains after the attack. With all the troubles May has been having during her campaign it appears as though she might have just been saved by the bell.

 

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Toll index April 2017

The data is available at the Data Repository of the IDSC – Research Data Center of IZA. The paper we first studied the properties of these data is published at the Journal of Forecasting.

The Toll Index has been widely covered in national and international press (selection):

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Is the German Housing Market overheating?

The IMF is warning there may be a German Housing bubble in the making which might burst if interest rates were to go up. I constructed what I called the BUSE Index for the US housing market by looking at the ratio of “buy” to “sell” searches in the Real Estate category and as it turned out it captured the US housing market fairly well:

Cityscape: A Journal of Policy Development and Research • Volume 18, Number 2 • 2016 U.S. Dept. Housing and Urban Development • Office of Policy Development and Research

I formed the German BUSE index which shows that currently we have a little under 4 buying Google searches for each sell search. While the German particulars are different than the USA both in terms of institutions as well as in terms of fundamentals but also buyer/seller behavior it is worth noting that the quarterly German Housing Price Index is forecasted fairly well by the monthly German BUSE index. As the buyer proliferation drains the sellers rom the market prices rise. If in addition interest rates were to make payments unsustainable prices might indeed come crushing down.

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