Removing the Gap between Annual and Sub-Annual Statistics

The benchmarking problem arises when time series data for the same target variable are measured at different frequencies (e.g. quarterly and annually). In that case, one might expect that a certain relation in time is satisfied, for instance that four quarterly values add up to one annual value, but because of differences in data sources and processing methods, this is often not the case. As inconsistencies of this kind may confuse users of statistics, these are often not tolerated.

Several mathematical methods are available that remove inconsistencies between data that are published at different frequencies. The so-called Denton method is very popularly applied, because of its relatively simplicity. However, in a number of papers in the literature it is argued that another method has to be preferred, the Causey-Trager Growth rate preservation method (GRP). We will compare the Denton method with GRP, and examine relevant aspects of these methods for practical applications.