Improving the timeliness of statistics has been a long-term objective of Statistics Canada. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, near real-time statistics have gained prominence as a way to monitor rapidly changing social and economic activities, as well as the impact of containment measures and the subsequent recovery.

Statistics Canada has launched several initiatives to this effect, including flash estimates for several macroeconomic statistics in addition to a new quarterly survey on business conditions. The Real-Time Local Business Conditions Index (RT-LBCI) is implemented as a part of this effort. This document accompanies the inaugural experimental release of the RT-LBCI and presents the conceptual structure of the index, the data and computation methods, and current limitations.

The RT-LBCI is released as an experimental statistic. It is intended to provide a real-time signal on business activities following the disruptions brought about by the pandemic and through the recovery phase. It is acknowledged that this signal does not capture all dimensions of business conditions. Moreover, the methodological developments of this index are ongoing. New data sources may be incorporated into the index computation over time and, consequently, the computation methods may too be revised over time.

To view the data, please visit the Statistics Canada website. 

Source: Statistics Canada