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Mr. Paul A Austin, Mr. Marco Marini, Alberto Sanchez, Chima Simpson-Bell, and James Tebrake

governed by Google’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. While Google does not provide an API to access the Google Trends data several publicly available web-scraping scripts have been developed that facilitate the extraction of data. From the perspective of statistical organizations, the data are highly accessible and the use of these data in the compilation of official statistics falls within the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy outlined by Google. The methodology Google uses to produce the trends data are documented and available on the Google Trends website. Google

Mr. Paul A Austin, Mr. Marco Marini, Alberto Sanchez, Chima Simpson-Bell, and James Tebrake
As the pandemic heigthened policymakers’ demand for more frequent and timely indicators to assess economic activities, traditional data collection and compilation methods to produce official indicators are falling short—triggering stronger interest in real time data to provide early signals of turning points in economic activity. In this paper, we examine how data extracted from the Google Places API and Google Trends can be used to develop high frequency indicators aligned to the statistical concepts, classifications, and definitions used in producing official measures. The approach is illustrated by use of Google data-derived indicators that predict well the GDP trajectories of selected countries during the early stage of COVID-19. To this end, we developed a methodological toolkit for national compilers interested in using Google data to enhance the timeliness and frequency of economic indicators.