Sometimes when I read economic newspapers I often want to compare economic indicators in different countries. Short research on the internet gives me statistical web sites where I can build some queries and download results in csv or excel files. But it takes much time to design a valid query because there is a lot of information and filters. Sometimes it is not comfortable to download big excel files and find Gross Domestic products for two countries.
Also just imagine when I have an economics discussion with my colleagues “What is the Inflation in Ukraine and in Europe”, we should use Google and find Inflation in the trusted source. So, it can take much time and making it on a mobile phone is not comfortable.
Therefore, I decided to design my own service where I can briefly check the economic situation of countries. First I thought about design as my aim is to create a useful User Interface where every person can find general economic info about the country. The second task was to define popular economic indicators that briefly describe the economic position of a country.
Doing a small research I found out the following indicators:
Gross domestic product
Gross domestic product (GDP) is the value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country’s borders in a specific time period.
Inflation refers to the rise in the prices of most goods and services of daily or common use, such as food, clothing, housing, recreation, transport, consumer staples, etc.
Central bank Interest rate
Central bank Interest rate determines the interest rate we pay to commercial banks that hold money with us. It influences the rates those banks charge people to borrow money or pay on their savings.
Balance of payments
The balance of payments (BoP) records all economic transactions in goods, services, and assets of the country with the rest of the world for a specified time period, usually a year.
After collecting indicators I have started to find data sources. I had an idea to design a self-automated service which can collect and update data from different sources automatically to minimize human intervention. This service will make it easier to find and compare economic indicators of different countries and economic unions. Then I understood that my idea fully depends on the count of free financial services with an open financial API. Rest API is a kind of an access to collected data.
I have identified that now central banks of countries and statistics services collect this financial information.
The first country that I have added was Ukraine. Now Ukraine is in a very unstable economic situation like the whole world because of Covid-19 pandemic.
Let’s come back to service.
The central bank of Ukraine is called “National Bank of Ukraine ‘’. It has an open, well documented Rest API for developers with a big collection of methods that give us a full economic overview. In their documentation I found all the indicators that I needed. Documentation for API has been written only in Ukrainian.
I want to show you some API method that I use:
Get Customer Price Index Path InflactionPath https://bank.gov.ua/NBUStatService/v1/statdirectory/inflation
Enjoy it. If you have any questions or ideas please feel free to ask me.
In the next articles I will describe the integration of the system with Eurostat and The European Central Bank (ECB) to get data for the European Union.