Can Electricity Demand Help Us Monitor the Economy?

Authors: Tatevik Sekhposyan, Noah Kouchekinia Date: July 2022

The recent pandemic has emphasized the importance of high-frequency economic variables. Electricity consumption, particularly important as a production input, is one such variable. However, electricity consumption typically exhibits marked seasonal fluctuations, which mask the fluctuations that are interesting from a business cycle perspective. In policy study 2202, PERC Professor Tatevik Sekhposyan and coauthor Noah Kouchekinia show that after capturing the seasonal effects associated with weather and calendar events, electricity consumption can provide a rapid reflection of the state of the economy.  This may be particularly valuable for measuring regional economic activity, where official statistics are slower to arrive.

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Keywords: Electricity consumption, economy, demand, Real GDP