Etla currently has two projects that use big data in economic forecasting.
ETLAnow unemployment predicts the unemployment rate in every EU country using real-time data from Google Trends database and latest official data from Eurostat. The forecasts for three months ahead are automatically updated every morning. The forecasts are also available on Twitter. ETLAnow is a collaborative work of 29 European research institutions.
ETLAnow project is discussed in several reports concerning the topic. ”ETLAnow: A Model for Forecasting with Big Data” provides an overlook on how the model works. A more extensive analysis on unemployment forecasting using Google data is provided in a a working paper ”Forecasting Unemployment with Google Searches” using U.S. data. Earlier work also includes this brief, which is based on our first trial for real-time forecasting and an earlier report in Finnish:”Big Data: Google-haut ennustavat työttömyyttä Suomessa”.
ETLAnow housing (in Finnish) predicts the housing prices in Finland using real-time data from Google Trends database and latest official data from Statistics Finland. The Google searches used are related to demand for housing. The forecasts for three months ahead are automatically updated every morning.
ETLAnow project is documented in the Etla report nro 63 (in Finnish): ”Google-haut Suomen asuntojen hintojen ennustajana”. The model bears many similarities with ETLAnow that predicts unemployment. The project is on-hold.