Statistics Canada web site crash delays GDP figures

Tue Mar 1, 2016 4:44pm EST
 
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OTTAWA, March 1 (Reuters) - The website for Canada's main statistical agency crashed briefly on Tuesday morning, delaying the scheduled release of the report on quarterly economic growth, one of the most closely watched measures of the economy.

Statscan usually releases data at exactly 8:30 a.m. EST (1330 GMT) and holds media lock-ups leading up to that time so the figures can be released simultaneously.

But since early February, the government agency has stopped opening media communications channels from the lock-up until the release has been published on the website.

On Tuesday, the web site was temporarily down, leading to a gap of about a minute, which can be a lifetime for traders and financial markets that react to the numbers.

"It felt like an hour but it was probably just around a minute or so," said David Tulk, chief Canada macro strategist at TD Securities.

Statscan has said that it wants to ensure the data is available to everyone at the same time. While that is understandable, there is also frustration when data is delayed, said Tulk.

A Statistics Canada spokeswoman could not immediately be reached for comment. (Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Andrew Hay)