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Swift launches new global economic barometer

Swift launches new global economic barometer

19 September 2011 | 3 min read

Sibos, Toronto, 19 September 2011 – Swift, the financial messaging provider for more than 9,700 financial institutions and corporations in 209 countries, has announced today that it is launching a new tool that can act as an advance indicator of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Key points:

  • Economic indicators are critical to support decision-making by investors, analysts, economists, national banks and policy makers. Economic growth indicators are among the most important of these.
  • The growing complexity of the interconnected, global economy requires reliable predictive indicators of economic growth. But their value depends on a combination of factors: early availability, a robust and transparent methodology, relevant underlying data and wide geographical coverage. Most of the existing indicators do not match one or more of these criteria.
  • The ubiquity of Swift bank-to-bank payment traffic makes it a mirror of economic activity. Refined to exclude exogenous events and modelled into an index, this traffic data becomes a reliable barometer of GDP.
  • Swift has developed a methodology for modelling and anticipating official GDP at global, regional and in some cases national levels. This methodology has been validated by academic experts from the Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE – Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium).
  • The Swift Index will be available from the first quarter of 2012. The Global Swift Index (illustrated below) will be available for free to the Swift community. More granular and earlier access will be available at a price in a range of packages.
  • Swift will be demonstrating the Swift Index for the first time at its annual Sibos event, which this year is being hosted in Toronto, September 19–23.


The problem of predicting the present, the very near future and the very recent past is labelled as nowcasting. The process of analysing current and historical data to determine future trends is labelled as forecasting.

About Swift
Swift is a member-owned cooperative that provides the communications platform, products and services to connect more than 9,700 banking organisations, securities institutions and corporate customers in 209 countries. Swift enables its users to exchange automated, standardised financial information securely and reliably, thereby lowering costs, reducing operational risk and eliminating operational inefficiencies. Swift also brings the financial community together to work collaboratively to shape market practice, define standards and debate issues of mutual interest.

For more information, please refer to or contact our PR agency:

M Eugenia Forcat
Head of Corporate Communications, Swift
+32 2 655 3377

Fishburn Hedges
Adam Keal/Gabriella Heard
+44 (0)20 7839 4321