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Do consumer-confidence indexes help forecast consumer spending in real time?

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  • Croushore, Dean

Abstract

Could a researcher or policy analyst use data reported from surveys of consumer confidence to improve forecasts of consumer spending? This issue has been examined in the literature previously, which reached the conclusion that consumer confidence helped improve the forecasts slightly. But that research was based on final, revised data and thus did not use the data that would have been available to forecasters in real time. This paper remedies that shortcoming, using the Real-Time Data Set for Macroeconomists to analyze the quality of forecasts made with indexes of consumer confidence. The main finding is that the indexes of consumer confidence are not of significant value in forecasting consumer spending. In fact, in some cases, they make the forecasts significantly worse. --

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal The North American Journal of Economics and Finance.

Volume (Year): 16 (2005)
Issue (Month): 3 (December)
Pages: 435-450

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecofin:v:16:y:2005:i:3:p:435-450

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620163

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References

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  1. Jason Bram & Sydney Ludvigson, 1997. "Does consumer confidence forecast household expenditure?: A sentiment index horse race," Research Paper 9708, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  2. Tom Stark and Dean Croushore, 2001. "Forecasting with a Real-Time Data Set for Macroeconomists," Computing in Economics and Finance 2001 258, Society for Computational Economics.
  3. Hamerle, Alfred & Liebig, Thilo & Scheule, Harald, 2004. "Forecasting Credit Portfolio Risk," Discussion Paper Series 2: Banking and Financial Studies 2004,01, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  4. Harvey, David & Leybourne, Stephen & Newbold, Paul, 1997. "Testing the equality of prediction mean squared errors," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 281-291, June.
  5. Eric M. Leeper, 1992. "Consumer attitudes: king for a day," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Jul, pages 1-15.
  6. Francis X. Diebold & Robert S. Mariano, 1994. "Comparing Predictive Accuracy," NBER Technical Working Papers 0169, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Easaw, Joshy Z. & Heravi, Saeed M., 2004. "Evaluating consumer sentiments as predictors of UK household consumption behavior: Are they accurate and useful?," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 671-681.
  8. Tom Stark, 2000. "Does current-quarter information improve quarterly forecasts for the U.S. economy?," Working Papers 00-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  9. Carroll, Christopher D & Fuhrer, Jeffrey C & Wilcox, David W, 1994. "Does Consumer Sentiment Forecast Household Spending? If So, Why?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1397-1408, December.
  10. Stark, Tom & Croushore, Dean, 2002. "Reply to the comments on 'Forecasting with a real-time data set for macroeconomists'," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 563-567, December.
  11. Croushore, Dean & Stark, Tom, 2001. "A real-time data set for macroeconomists," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 111-130, November.
  12. E. Philip Howrey, 2001. "The Predictive Power of the Index of Consumer Sentiment," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 32(1), pages 175-216.
  13. Yash P. Mehra & Elliot W. Martin, 2003. "Why does consumer sentiment predict household spending?," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Fall, pages 51-67.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Aleksejs Melihovs & Svetlana Rusakova, 2005. "Short-Term Forecasting of Economic Development in Latvia Using Business and Consumer Survey Data," Working Papers 2005/04, Latvijas Banka.
  2. Dean Croushore, 2008. "Frontiers of real-time data analysis," Working Papers 08-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  3. Boriss Siliverstovs & Konstantin A. Kholodilin, 2010. "Assessing the Real-Time Informational Content of Macroeconomic Data Releases for Now-/Forecasting GDP: Evidence for Switzerland," KOF Working papers 10-251, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  4. Robert B. Barsky & Eric R. Sims, 2012. "Information, Animal Spirits, and the Meaning of Innovations in Consumer Confidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(4), pages 1343-77, June.
  5. Hara, Naoko & Ichiue, Hibiki, 2011. "Real-time analysis on Japan's labor productivity," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 107-130, June.
  6. Boriss Siliverstovs, 2010. "Assessing Predictive Content of the KOF Barometer in Real Time," KOF Working papers 10-249, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  7. Md. Kabir Ahmed Chowdhury & G.M. Abul Kalam Azad, 2010. "Consumer Confidence in Financial Markets," Working Papers id:3265, eSocialSciences.
  8. Simeon Vosen & Torsten Schmidt, 2011. "Forecasting private consumption: survey‐based indicators vs. Google trends," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(6), pages 565-578, September.
  9. Gomes, Orlando, 2007. "Consumer confidence, endogenous growth and endogenous cycles," MPRA Paper 2883, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Dudek, Sławomir, 2008. "Consumer Survey Data and short-term forecasting of households consumption expenditures in Poland," MPRA Paper 19818, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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