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Tracking Economic Fluctuations in Bangladesh with Electricity Consumption (English)

This paper investigates whether electricity consumption is a useful indicator for tracking economic fluctuations in Bangladesh. It presents monthly data on national electricity consumption since 1993 and daily consumption data since February 2010 for the country’s eight divisions. National electricity consumption is strongly correlated with other high-frequency indicators of economic activity, and it has declined during natural disasters and the COVID-19 lockdowns. The paper estimates an electricity consumption model that explains over 90 percent of the variation in daily consumption based on the trend, seasonality, within-week variation, holidays, Ramadan, and temperature. Deviations from the model prediction can act as in indicator of economic fluctuations. For example, during the first COVID-19 lockdown in April 2020, electricity consumption in Dhaka fell over 40 percent compared with normal and remained below the normal level until early 2021. The later lockdowns, in contrast, had only small additional impacts, in line with less stringent containment measures and more effective adaptation.

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Citation

Arshad,Selvia Beyer,Robert Carl Michael

Tracking Economic Fluctuations in Bangladesh with Electricity Consumption (English). Policy Research working paper ; no. WPS 10002; COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group. http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/099239404072234329/IDU02a02a0540a4e3044450946b009fbff8f4528