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st: Simple questions regarding time series data

From   Shruthi JAYARAM <>
To   statalist <>
Subject   st: Simple questions regarding time series data
Date   Fri, 17 Jul 2009 10:17:00 +0800

Message Classification: Restricted

Dear STATA listers,

I have a few very simple questions regarding time series data manipulation
- I'm relatively new to STATA (was using R before) and couldn't locate the
answers in the help manual.

1. How do I extract the frequency of a time variable? For example, a query
like frequency(x) should return 12 is x is a %tm variable and 365 if it's a
%td variable.

2. Is it possible to concatenate strings and numbers into a larger string?
For example, I have a variable y and I want to get the output "The
forecasted GDP for 2009 is y". Can I write a command that intuitively
carries out this: gen outputstring = paste("The forecast GDP for 2009 is",

3. If I have a time variable x that runs from 1990m1 to 1990m12, how do I
extract the first observation? In R, variables are arrays or matrices,
allowing you to specify the particular observation you would need, such as
x[1] for the first observation of x. What is the equivalent in STATA?

4. Finally, is it possible to invoke the system command line from within
STATA to run an outside program during the STATA proceses?

I'd be very grateful for any help on any of these, thanks so much!


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