SWIFT is launching a new tool that can act as an advance indicator of gross domestic product (GDP). The SWIFT Index will be available from the first quarter of 2012.
Key points of the announcement include:
- Economic indicators are critical to support decision-making by investors, analysts, economists, national banks and policy makers. Economic growth indicators are among the most important of these.
- The growing complexity of the interconnected, global economy requires reliable predictive indicators of economic growth. But their value depends on a combination of factors: early availability, a robust and transparent methodology, relevant underlying data and wide geographical coverage. Most of the existing indicators do not match one or more of these criteria.
- The ubiquity of SWIFT bank-to-bank payment traffic makes it a mirror of economic activity. Refined to exclude exogenous events and modelled into an index, this traffic data becomes a reliable barometer of GDP.
- SWIFT has developed a methodology for modelling and anticipating official GDP at global, regional and in some cases national levels. This methodology has been validated by academic experts from the Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE – Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium).