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C 187 E/194 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 3.7.


Answer given by Mr Solbes Mira on behalf of the Commission

(15 March 2001)

Eurostat calculates the first estimates of quarterly gross domestic product (GDP) for the euro zone and the
15 Member States three times per quarter in accordance with the following schedule:

 an initial estimate covering at least 75 % of GDP is made within 70 days after the end of the reference

 a second estimate covering 90 % is made after 100 days;

 a third estimate covering 95 % is made after 120 days.

(2001/C 187 E/209) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0139/01

by Christopher Huhne (ELDR) to the Commission

(31 January 2001)

Subject: Timeliness of economic statistics

Given that the statistics for GDP, employment and productivity for the euro area are taken into account
largely by the foreign exchange market when assessing the value of the euro against the dollar and the yen,
and given that they must therefore compete with the figures produced for other areas, will the
Commission please state the frequency and actual time-lag between the period concerned and publication
of national output, employment, productivity and earnings figures in the United States of America, Canada
and Japan?

Answer given by Mr Solbes Mira on behalf of the Commission

(3 April 2001)

A table that gives the release dates for the United States of America, Japan and Canada for the key statistics
mentioned in the question is sending direct to the Honourable Member and to Parliament’s Secretariat.

The Commission, in full awareness of the attention devoted by foreign exchange markets to statistics such
as the gross domestic product (GDP), employment or productivity, is concerned about the fact that euro
area statistics are, in most cases, released later than in the United States, Japan and Canada. Therefore the
Commission and the European Central Bank have recently jointly proposed an action plan, which was
subsequently approved by the Ecofin Council. The implementation of this plan should lead to improve-
ments in the data collection and statistics compilation in the National Statistical Institutes of the Member
States as well as in the Statistical Office of the European Communities (Eurostat). These improvements will
make a faster release of these key statistics possible.

(2001/C 187 E/210) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0145/01

by Toine Manders (ELDR) and Jules Maaten (ELDR) to the Commission

(31 January 2001)

Subject: Inflammable clothing

A terrible fire at a cafe bar in Volendam in the Netherlands recently cost ten people their lives as well as
endangering the lives of dozens of others or leaving them permanently disfigured. One of the causes of the
fire was the presence of dangerous, inflammable products, including clothing. In response to the incident,
the Dutch clothing industry announced that it would be taking voluntary steps to indicate on the labels of
clothing the inflammability of the material used.