Statscan says economic data leaked, problem fixed

Tue Dec 7, 2010 8:02pm EST
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Statscan, the federal statistics agency said on Tuesday it mistakenly leaked economic data to some of its clients ahead of the official release time.

Statistics Canada said some "secondary distributors" of its public database had received data ahead of the general public, but that it has taken steps to ensure this does not happen again.

It provided no details on the type of information, or when the leaks occurred.

"After a preliminary review, Statistics Canada confirmed that data had been made available no more than 59 seconds in advance of the official release time, at least an hour before North American markets opened," the agency said in a statement.

"Management took immediate steps to resolve the situation. Data releases are now all made available at the exact same time," it said.

Statscan provides economic indicator data to reporters under embargo several times a month and has recently increased security measures to ensure the information is not leaked prior to the official time.

Key indicators like the consumer price index or gross domestic product growth can affect bond and foreign exchange markets. Anyone who gains privileged access to the data, even if for only a few seconds, could potentially profit from trading on it.