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Massey University's clever AI GDP model is now hosted on interest.co.nz, giving much earlier insights on how our economy is tracking, including regionally and by industry

Massey University's clever AI GDP model is now hosted on interest.co.nz, giving much earlier insights on how our economy is tracking, including regionally and by industry

interest.co.nz is proud to have been given permission to make Massey University's GDP Live resources available with our service.

GDPLive is real-time forecasting of New Zealand's Gross Domestic Product.

Using AI and a myriad of official and unofficial sources, the AI team at Massey University's Albany campus has built a machine learning system that forecast's GDP nationally, regionally, and by industry sector.

Full explanations of how it works is here and its track record is here.

New Zealand's official national accounts are published about eighty days after the end of each quarter. But the data that builds these results is all available earlier, coming in continuously. That official flow, and some unofficial but highly relevant parallel data streams are what powers the results presented in the charts in this service.

You can find it here.

As most readers should know, GDP isn't everything, its just one way - a way that has well-known flaws - to estimate an economy's size and growth. But until a better way of representing this scorecard is developed, GDP remains a useful resource so long as you understand its limitations. (If you want to see an alternative Wellbeing Assessment for New Zealand, the latest one is from the OECD, here.)

Official Q4-2019 GDP is due to be released on Thursday, March 19, 2020.

But much has transpired since then so that data will be more out-of-date than usual.

The great advantage of the GDP Live tracking is that we can get an early look at the lastest impacts on the New Zealand economy as each new data point comes in. And that includes 'unofficial data like rail shipments, and truck activity as revealed in Road User Taxes. Some services, like ANZ's Truckometer, track this type of data and its likely impact, but only Massey's AI model integrates it all into a GDP estimate.

There are three basic ways to view the impacts; nationally, regionally, or by industry. Each gives unique insights. And each updates progressively as new data arrives.

Massey's charts are especially helpful - a quick look will show how unique and helpful these views can be.

Sure, the charts are not for novices, and not for readers that are looking for absolute certainties. But readers who can think past simplistic interpretation, they are a fantastic resource that will give an early look at how our economy is tracking.

Bookmark this page, or you can navigate there from our menus or the link in the Top Resources section on our home page.

We are proud to host this information.

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12 Comments

Great - and such interesting timing given global events are now on the precipice. Look forward to it.

Then, Kate, you miss the point.

Try asking why universities are in $ trouble, are needing to establish PPP's, and are increasingly funded by debt (including student debt, which is an intergenerational theft)?

Then ask whether this effort measures finite resources, renewable resource use, or sink capacities. Those are the only measures we need; if you want to fine-tune it, overlay the diminishing-returns from energy efficiencies and the slowing of meaningful technological development. Even further, measure the rate of recycling, particularly vis-a-vis the finite resources.
It's 51 years since we went to the moon and Concorde is gathering chook-poo in a shed. We've been overshot for decades. We desperately need to be measuring real things and we need to be instructing our Universities to make it happen. Instead, read the ODT about the state of Otago uni - and I'll bet the same is happening in all the others, particularly since the Joyce/ideological years.

Sad epitaph for what should have been unfettered learning, enthusiastically supported by a knowledge-seeking society.

Nope. You miss the point. Again.
You've gotta swallow the bitter pill and realise that this mindless view that "economics bad" is preventing you from seeing the wood through the trees.

The real value in GDP live is not neccessarily that it is nowcasting GDP. It is in the empirical advances associated with generating these nowcasts; ironically the enthusiastic knowledge-seeking you purport to be non-existent in Universities.

But, then again, I guess interpretivists generally aren't all that numbery, computery, empirically focused.

Looks like a unavoidable ORC cut.

Cut the Orc's heads off!

I think he meant less ORC cast members in the upcoming LOTR tv series due to budgetary constraints.

No, I think it was something to do with less immigration into Orcland.

“the AI team at Massey University's Albany campus has built a machine learning system”

Hopefully the system’s ready for some all-nighters - going to be a lot to learn over the next few months…

Why are we giving more oxygen to the GDP measurement. It is a very poor and flawed indication of the health of the economy and has been widely criticised as such. The obvious example was the Christchurch earthquake, which was a huge blow to the economy but registered as a very positive impact on the GDP. The impact goes far more deeply than that however as it tends to reflect many other aspects that are negative for the economy and you tend to get what you measure. So we are encouraging affects that are really negative for the country by concentrating on GDP.
Why not introduce and track some measurements that are more meaningful.

This is the best alternative to date. It is internationally benchmarked to all other OECD countries. But does it reveal a better picture of the New Zealand economy ?

Excellent. GDP is flawed, but whether it is going up or down tells you a lot. A similar engine for real time inflation as well would be even better.

As most readers should know, GDP isn't everything, its just one way - a way that has well-known flaws - to estimate an economy's size and growth. But until a better way of representing this scorecard is developed, GDP remains a useful resource so long as you understand its limitations.

No it doesn't, David

Quite seriously, it's as ignorant as choosing to count deck-chair hireage while ignoring the sinking. The analogy is that stark, and the bilge-sounding s' scorecards' have been available for 50 years. I challenge you to put them up.

Oh, and the other measure you linked is similarly flawed, note. No resource draw-down with that one either, just more passenger-satisfaction figures. Who knows, perhaps if you get enough satisfied passengers the ship might not sink?

Days to the General Election: 27
See Party Policies here. Party Lists here.