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QuantCube launches four new real-time economic indicators using ESA satellite data

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Alternative data specialist QuantCube Technology, has added four new real-time economic indicators to the QuantCube Macroeconomic Intelligence Platform.

The indicators are:
Urban growth index – measuring development in cities and urban areas over time;

NO2 pollution index – tracking human activity by comparing average nitrogen dioxide produced across different regions;

Water stress index – monitoring water surface fluctuations to pinpoint the likely occurrence of drought and water shortages;

Agricultural index – observing agricultural land usage to help predict changes in agricultural yields.

“Over the last two years we have been working closely with the European Space Agency (ESA) on a Demonstration Project, applying artificial intelligence and deep learning techniques to their Earth observation data to create a ground-breaking new set of economic indicators,” says Thanh-Long Huynh, CEO of QuantCube. “Combining the satellite data from ESA with additional QuantCube data sources­ – including news and social media data, industry and employment data, international trade and shipping data, meteorological and oceanographic data, and more – allows us to provide a new set of indicators for measuring economic changes in granular detail across key sectors of the economy.”
The new set of QuantCube Global Satellite indicators are available through QuantCube’s Macroeconomic Intelligence Platform, which also provides real-time indicators for inflation, tourism, global trade, and key macro-economic variables. QuantCube worked closely with a number of financial institutions to ensure that its new Global Satellite indicators would meet their needs.
The objective was to create a set of economic indicators, using satellite imagery and big data not otherwise exploited, to provide a new source of real-time economic intelligence. The indicators fill a gap in the market for asset management firms, hedge funds, pension funds, investment banks and corporate treasurers that are hungry for economic insights. Longer term, there is also the potential for the indicators to provide insight into measuring environmental sustainability.
“ESA has guided the QuantCube team through ESA’s Business Applications programme in a Demonstration Project over the last two years and helped to co-fund the firm’s service development into the best way of incorporating Earth observation data, for instance from the Copernicus programme’s Sentinel satellites, within its real-time economic indicators,” says Volker Schumacher, Applications Engineer at ESA. “We’re very happy that QuantCube is now launching these four new Global Satellite indicators to market and that financial institutions and other organisations will be able to benefit from this new real-time economic intelligence.”

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