February 22, 2016 / 9:14 PM / 2 years ago

Statistics Canada still having economic data release trouble

OTTAWA, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Statistics Canada said on Monday it would continue to temporarily delay the publication of economic data from media lock-ups because it is still having trouble updating the federal agency’s website.

Statscan usually releases data precisely at 8:30 a.m. EST (1330 GMT). Starting Feb. 5, it stopped opening communications channels from the media lock-up until the daily release had been published on the website.

Since then, delays in data releases have stretched up to 22 seconds past 8:30 am.

In an e-mailed statement, Statscan said it was working to resolve the problem.

“Standard lockup procedures will resume when Statistics Canada is fully satisfied that official release occurs without fail on the website at 8:30 a.m.,” said Gabrielle Beaudoin, director general of the communications division.

Many banks and trading organizations use sophisticated programs that can execute trades in less than a second after data are released. Canadian releases often coincide with those in the United States.

Mazen Issa, senior foreign exchange strategist at TD Securities in New York, said the Statscan delays would make life harder for market operators trying to interpret both U.S. and Canadian figures.

“In terms of the purity or the integrity of the trading pattern afterward, it’s a little bit more obscure than releasing it exactly when the data should be released,” he said in a phone interview.

“It complicates the overall initial interpretation and the trading performance right afterward. But does it get sustained? Likely not.” (Reporting by David Ljunggren and Leah Schnurr; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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