The TIME command specifies the beginning year and frequency for a time series so that an alternate form of the SAMPLE command can be used. The format is:
TIME beg freq var
where beg is the beginning year, freq is the frequency of the data (for example, use 1 for annual data, 4 for quarterly data and 12 for monthly data), and var is an optional variable name to store dates. An example is:
TIME 1981 12
SAMPLE 1982.3 1984.10
When a dot "." is included, as in the example above, it is assumed to be a date according to the specification of the TIME command. This sets the SAMPLE from March of 1982 to October of 1984 for monthly data. The date can also be saved in a variable by specifying a variable name in var if a SAMPLE range for var has previously been defined. However, this variable should only be used for labelling output and not in calculations as it often has no useful numerical meaning.