EconoMonitor

The Kapali Carsi

Another Turkish NKOTB

The Turkish Statistical Institute (or TurkStat) recently started publishing sectoral indices in services, retail and construction. I first saw the indices last week, but the data is from January 2011. However, the short time period makes the any comparisons or testing the leading indicator properties of the indices meaningless.

Now, I was surprised by this new index because Ankara think-tank TEPAV was already doing a retail index, called TEPE, for the past three years. Since TEPE was contracted out to TEPAV by the EC, and is in line with EU standards, I began to wonder why TurkStat was doing separate indices.

So I did a bit of detective work and found out that TEPAV and the EC did not renew their agreement, and TurkStat began working with the EC on sectoral indices. So far so good, no love, with the exception for love of Besiktas, lasts forever. But it gets weirder: TurkStat has completely changed the methodology: Whereas TEPE was done with face-to-face surveys with 500 respondents, TurkStat’s indices are done with an online survey with 3000 respondents.

I am not going to discuss which method is better. But now this makes me wonder, more than anything else, which method is actually the EU Standard🙂 I know I have a couple of readers from the EC, so please enlighten me:) Moreover, why would they risk throwing three years of data in the garbage can by changing the methodology. I mean, work with the official statistics agency; that’s fine, or even better. But keep the methodology, for God’s sake! Luckily, I have learned that TEPAV is continuing TEPE with its own funds, so the data will still be there. And I think there are enough observations to test the predictive powers of the index, so I should try that sometime. As for how the two retail sector confidence indices compare:

As you can see, the indices were almost identical for the first three months of the TurkStat data, but then they began to diverge.  It is especially noteworthy that while TEPE fell sharply in May, TurkStat’s index didn’t. Mayy TEPE will be released on Monday, so we’ll see how it’ll fare then.

BTW, as for title, if you were born in the 80s, you might not know the NKOTB, with whom all my female (and one male; he later became a priest, the last I heard he was happily married to a 12-year old, living on a beach in Thailand – see 1:53-2:00) classmates were in love with in middle school. Some of their songs were even cheesier than my titles, but I guess I was jealous:) Anyway, I think they have reunited again, so I hope they are still doing their old MTV classics🙂 BTW, I just found out they were from Boston: With their funky hairstyles dancing around and all that, I guess it should have been tough growing up in a tough neighborhood:)- all three are great movies BTW, if you haven’t seen them, be sure to add them to your Netflix (or torrent) queue. I like Mystic personally because I used to dragonboat on the river. Departed has the best Boston shots, and Charlestown is really a yuppie place nowadays, as noted in the Town. So much for my two words of wisdom on Boston and the movies.

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