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Data presentation - Summary description

The Euro Area Real-Time Database (RTDB) is an  experimental dataset  that consists of vintages, or snapshots, of time series of several variables, based on series reported in the ECB’s Economic Bulletin (EBu), and previously in the ECB's Monthly Bulletin (MoBu). It is updated semi-annually,  at the beginning of January and July.


The database has been constructed in the context of the Real-Time DataBase (RTDB) project that is being coordinated by the   Euro Area Business Cycle Network (EABCN . An in-depth presentation of this euro area RTDB can be found in ECB Working Paper No 1145, entitled  “An area-wide real-time database for the euro area”  by D. Giannone, J. Henry, M. Lalik and M. Modugno (January 2010).

Data presentation - Detailed description

It contains indicators published in the EBu (previously MoBu), however, it focuses mainly on raw series (mainly indexes, levels and absolute values) instead of derived values (annual percentage changes) which were actually reported. Users are expected to perform relevant calculations to derive transformed data by using a software of their choice.


The dataset was constructed by retrieving data stored in so called “frozen” databases which were used to produce MoBu’s statistical tables since January 2001. However, for selected 38 variables the vintages were reconstructed back to 1999 but are made available in CSV format only (see Dissemination pane). 


The “freezing” procedure always takes place on a working day ahead of the Governing Council meeting at precise time 3.30 p.m. 


It should be noted that the technology behind storage databases has evolved over the time and that the quality of early vintages might be in some cases lower due to the lack of good electronic sources available at that time. The quality of these vintages should not be in any case related to the quality of the MoBu itself as the proof reading of the later always ensures the accuracy of numbers published.


All indicators in the dataset follow a so called “policy concept”, i.e. they are reported according to the methodology adopted at the time of their publication. For example, the data on GDP at constant prices were replaced by chain indices in November 2005. The dataset reflects this fact as a revision to the GDP series.


When using euro area data one should also be particularly aware of a specific definition of the euro area applied. A detailed explanation of various euro area compositions can be found in General Notes of the EBu. 


Bearing in mind all these limitations, the dataset should be used for research purposes only and the time series included should not be treated as reference data. For most up to date indicators users should refer to other sections of the SDW.


It is recommended to become familiar with the technical documentation , prior to proceeding with the data download. See the section on "Dissemination" for downloading the data.

Methodological information
Time period

Monthly, Quarterly and Annually

Statistical concepts and definitions

For information about the naming convention (series key dimensions and metadata), refer to the RTD underlying DSD (ECB_RTD1) maintained by the ECB.

Administrative Information

RTD - Real Time Database (research database)

Data source

European Central Bank

Quality management

The data quality for RTD is guaranteed by the data quality at series level. RTD series are recoding of other series in SDW. To see the original series, please navigate to the quickview page, More attributes: the underlying series is stored under the attribute "Domestic series ID"

Release policy

The dataset is updated semi-annually (at the beginning of January and July).

Release policy - user access

Until December 2009 data was available in CSV format on a predecessor of the current  Euro Area Business Cycle Network  website.


As of January 2010 data is disseminated to the ECB Statistical Data Warehouse. 

Dissemination format

Beside the access to the data through the above websites, the various data vintages can be downloaded. 


CSV files, related to vintages up to 2014 included, are accessible on the following page:  RTDB CSV files


RTD vintages from 2015 onwards can be extracted using ECB Data Portal web services.

The below url can be adapted to extract the history for any RTD series:


Refer to the help pages for more examples.


*   For the vintage dates, see  Governing Council monetary policy decision dates .


Documentation on methodology

The technical documentation contains description of each series included in the RTDB. It is divided into main blocks (annual, quarterly, and monthly) and then further into economic concept related blocks. The concept related blocks start with general information applicable to all series within the block and then the series-specific details follow.


See also the ECB Working Paper No 1145 "An area-wide real-time database for the euro area" by D. Giannone, J. Henry, M. Lalik and M. Modugno (January 2010).


Please be aware that, as of November 2014, real-time data refer to the new standard on the European System of Accounts ESA 2010 and to the new standard Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual (BPM6) .


Please be also aware that from 2015 onwards the RTD dataset reflects the new Economic Bulletin, the first issue of which was published on the 5th of February 2015. 

Technical Information

Download the series catalogue containing a full list of series and associated metadata of the dataset RTD in CSV format (zipped)

Dataset last update
14 June 2023 15:30 CEST
Metadata last update
3 July 2023 10:55 CEST