For WIFO, unlike private households, businesses and public corporations, the change-over to the euro requires more than a simple transformation of prices by the conversion factor and double cash management in both Austrian schillings and euros during the transition period. The essential issue for WIFO is to preserve the economic relevance of the data published. All economic data previously denominated in ATS will be converted into euros on the basis of the official conversion factor of 13.7603 by 15 January 2002, at the latest. The resulting artificial currency unit applicable to data from before 1 January 1999 will be called euro-ATS. The other Member States of the euro zone will be using the same "euro-national currency" designation for their artificial currency units (e.g., euro-DEM, euro-ITL). All data from after 1 January 1999 expressed in monetary units are already euro-based. This procedure is being applied in accordance with the most important providers of economic data in Austria: the Austrian National Bank and Statistics Austria. The change-over concerns all WIFO media: the quarterly economic forecast, which will be expressed in euros already as of December, the WIFO economic data published on the website, data in current publications (above all the WIFO monthly reports and the Austrian Economic Quarterly), the WIFO studies, and the economic database of Austrian and international economic data administered by WIFO. All data expressed in monetary units and administered by WIFO (data classes: (K)GEN, FTA3, KON, NMAU, REZB, etc.) will be changed over to the euro. As regards data class (K)GEN, users will still be able to obtain ATS-denominated data in the newly generated (K)GENS section, but such data will no longer be maintained in the future, i.e., data revisions will only be considered in the euro time series. Transformation on the basis of the constant conversion factor offers many advantages for domestic data users. Firstly, data already published in euros are not affected by the change-over. Secondly, all rates of change of both nominal and real data are identical with the rates of change of ATS time series. Thirdly, the deflators remain unchanged, and fourthly, there is no limit to back-calculations in euro-ATS. For international comparisons, however, data expressed in euro-ATS are subject to certain limitations, which might lead to distorted conclusions. Values expressed in euro-ATS should not, for example, be added to values in euro-ITL, as the constant conversion factor disregards the exchange-rate fluctuations between Italy and Austria. For nominal data, for example, the calculation of market shares in foreign trade should be made on the basis current exchange rates. International comparisons of purchasing power should be performed, if possible, in purchasing power parities. Finally, real data in an international comparison should be calculated on the basis of the exchange rate of the base year of the price deflator.
Die Euro-Umstellung am WIFO; Change-over to the Euro at WIFO
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