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The reliability of real-time estimates of the euro area output gap

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  • Marcellino, Massimiliano
  • Musso, Alberto

Abstract

This paper provides evidence on the reliability of euro area real-time output gap estimates. A genuine real-time data set for the euro area is used, including vintages of several sets of euro area output gap estimates available from 1999 to 2010. It turns out that real-time estimates of the output gap tend to be characterised by a high degree of uncertainty, much higher than that resulting from model and estimation uncertainty only. In particular, the evidence indicates that both the magnitude and the sign of the real-time estimates of the euro area output gap are very uncertain. The uncertainty is mostly due to parameter instability and model uncertainty, while data revisions seem to play a minor role. Some euro area real-time measures, based on multivariate components models and capacity utilisation, are relatively less uncertain, but do not appear to be fully reliable along some dimensions. To benchmark our results, we repeat the analysis for the US over the same sample. It turns out that US real-time estimates tend to be revised to a lesser extent than euro area estimates. However, euro area real-time output gap estimates tend to display a higher correlation with the final estimates and the sign of the level of US real-time estimates tends to be revised more often compared to the corresponding euro area estimates. In addition, the data revision component of the revision error is larger for US estimates than for the euro area. Overall, the unreliability in real-time of the US output gap measures detected in earlier studies is confirmed in the more recent period.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economic Modelling.

Volume (Year): 28 (2011)
Issue (Month): 4 (July)
Pages: 1842-1856

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecmode:v:28:y:2011:i:4:p:1842-1856

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/30411

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Keywords: Output gap Real-time data Euro area Data revisions;

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References

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  1. Marcellino, Massimiliano & Musso, Alberto, 2011. "The reliability of real-time estimates of the euro area output gap," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 1842-1856, July.
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  14. Massimiliano Marcellino & Alberto Musso, 2010. "The Forecasting Performance of Real Time Estimates of the EURO Area Output Gap," Economics Working Papers ECO2010/15, European University Institute.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Ince, Onur & Papell, David H., 2013. "The (un)reliability of real-time output gap estimates with revised data," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 713-721.
  2. Garratt, Anthony & Mitchell, James & Vahey, Shaun P., 2014. "Measuring output gap nowcast uncertainty," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 268-279.
  3. Feldkircher, Martin, 2014. "The determinants of vulnerability to the global financial crisis 2008 to 2009: Credit growth and other sources of risk," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 19-49.
  4. Kempkes, Gerhard, 2012. "Cyclical adjustment in fiscal rules: Some evidence on real-time bias for EU-15 countries," Discussion Papers 15/2012, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  5. Knut Are Aastveit & Tørres G. Trovik, 2008. "Estimating the output gap in real time: A factor model approach," Working Paper 2008/23, Norges Bank.
  6. Cláudia Duarte, 2014. "Autoregressive augmentation of MIDAS regressions," Working Papers w201401, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  7. Marcellino, Massimiliano & Musso, Alberto, 2010. "The Reliability of Real Time Estimates of the Euro Area Output Gap," CEPR Discussion Papers 7716, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Jens Boysen-Hogrefe, 2014. "Monetary aggregates to improve early output gap estimates in the euro area - an empirical assessment," Kiel Working Papers 1908, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  9. Dominik Bernhofer & Octavio Fernández-Amador & Martin Gächter & Friedrich Sindermann, 2014. "Finance, Potential Output and the Business Cycle: Empirical Evidence from Selected Advanced and CESEE Economies," Focus on European Economic Integration, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 2, pages 52-75.
  10. Martin Plödt & Claire Reicher, 2014. "Estimating simple fiscal policy reaction functions for the euro area countries," Kiel Working Papers 1899, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  11. Ley, Eduardo & Misch, Florian, 2013. "Real-time macro monitoring and fiscal policy," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6303, The World Bank.

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