Greek Statistics Service Suspends Release of GDP Flash Quarterly Estimates

Statistics service ELSTAT has suspended until further notice the release of flash quarterly estimates on the country’s gross domestic product because of divergences with provisional estimates, an official at the statistics service announced on Monday.

The move means that flash data will not be issued on Aug. 14. Nationwide quarterly GDP data will be released on Sept. 1, taking into account more information than the early indicator of the flash estimate.

That quarterly figure, known as provisional data, can also be subject to revisions over time.

The quality of Greek statistical data is under constant scrutiny by Brussels since the country plunged into crisis in 2010, requiring to date three international bailouts to stave off bankruptcy.

Discrepancies in the way the budget deficit was calculated before 2010 – which angry euro zone partners say concealed the extent of the deficit – helped trigger the financial crisis that engulfed Greece and the euro zone.

A senior ELSTAT official told Reuters the suspension of the flash data was necessary because flash data was issued on the basis of incomplete information, which subsequently needed revisions when more data came in.

Many statistics services in the eurozone announce their flash estimates on GDP 45 days after the end of the previous quarter and provisional estimates 60 days later.

Ireland, Luxembourg and Sweden do not issue flash data. The release of flash estimates is not mandatory under European legislation.