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Short-Term Forecasting of the Japanese Economy Using Factor Models

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  • Claudia Godbout
  • Marco J. Lombardi

Abstract

While the usefulness of factor models has been acknowledged over recent years, little attention has been devoted to the forecasting power of these models for the Japanese economy. In this paper, we aim at assessing the relative performance of factor models over different samples, including the recent financial crisis. To do so, we construct factor models to forecast Japanese GDP and its subcomponents, using 38 data series (including daily, monthly and quarterly variables) over the period 1991 to 2010. Overall, we find that factor models perform well at tracking GDP movements and anticipating turning points. For most of the components, we report that factor models yield lower forecasting errors than a simple AR process or an indicator model based on Purchasing Managers’ Indicators (PMIs). In line with previous studies, we conclude that the largest improvements in terms of forecasting accuracy are found for more volatile periods, such as the recent financial crisis. However, unlike previous studies, we do not find evident links between the volatility of the components and the relative advantage of using factor models. Finally, we show that adding the PMI index as an independent explanatory variable improves the forecasting properties of the factor models.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Bank of Canada in its series Working Papers with number 12-7.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:12-7

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Keywords: Econometric and statistical methods; International topics;

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  1. Jushan Bai & Serena Ng, 2000. "Determining the Number of Factors in Approximate Factor Models," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 440, Boston College Department of Economics.
  2. Todd E. Clark & Kenneth D. West, 2005. "Approximately normal tests for equal predictive accuracy in nested models," Research Working Paper RWP 05-05, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  3. Mototsugu Shintani, 2010. "Nonlinear Forecasting Analysis Using Diffusion Indexes: An Application to Japan," Levine's Working Paper Archive 506439000000000168, David K. Levine.
  4. Shin-ichi Fukuda & Takashi Onodera, 2001. "A New Composite Index of Coincident Economic Indicators in Japan: How can we improve the forecast performance? ," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-101, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  5. Domenico Giannone & Lucrezia Reichlin & David H Small, 2007. "Nowcasting GDP and Inflation: The Real-Time Informational Content of Macroeconomic Data Releases," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2006 164, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
  6. Anindya Banerjee & Massimiliano Marcellino & Igor Masten, 2009. "Forecasting with Factor-Augmented Error Correction Models," Discussion Papers 09-06, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
  7. Jean Boivin & Marc Giannoni, 2006. "DSGE Models in a Data-Rich Environment," NBER Technical Working Papers 0332, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Nikita Perevalov & Philipp Maier, 2010. "On the Advantages of Disaggregated Data: Insights from Forecasting the U.S. Economy in a Data-Rich Environment," Working Papers 10-10, Bank of Canada.
  9. Breitung, Jörg & Eickmeier, Sandra, 2005. "Dynamic factor models," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2005,38, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  10. Mario Forni & Marc Hallin & Marco Lippi & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2000. "The Generalized Dynamic-Factor Model: Identification And Estimation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(4), pages 540-554, November.
  11. Ziegler, Christina & Eickmeier, Sandra, 2006. "How good are dynamic factor models at forecasting output and inflation? A meta-analytic approach," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2006,42, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
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  13. Antonello D'Agostino & Domenico Giannone & Paolo Surico, 2005. "(Un)Predictability and Macroeconomic Stability," Macroeconomics 0510024, EconWPA.
  14. Giuseppe Parigi & Roberto Golinelli, 2007. "The use of monthly indicators to forecast quarterly GDP in the short run: an application to the G7 countries," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(2), pages 77-94.
  15. James Rossiter, 2010. "Nowcasting the Global Economy," Discussion Papers 10-12, Bank of Canada.
  16. Evan F. Koenig, 2002. "Using the Purchasing Managers' Index to assess the economy's strength and the likely direction of monetary policy," Economic and Financial Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  17. Alessi, Lucia & Barigozzi, Matteo & Capasso, Marco, 2010. "Improved penalization for determining the number of factors in approximate factor models," Statistics & Probability Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(23-24), pages 1806-1813, December.
  18. Angelini, Elena & Bańbura, Marta & Rünstler, Gerhard, 2008. "Estimating and forecasting the euro area monthly national accounts from a dynamic factor model," Working Paper Series 0953, European Central Bank.
  19. Bańbura, Marta & Modugno, Michele, 2010. "Maximum likelihood estimation of factor models on data sets with arbitrary pattern of missing data," Working Paper Series 1189, European Central Bank.
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Cited by:
  1. Marek Rusnak, 2013. "Nowcasting Czech GDP in Real Time," Working Papers 2013/06, Czech National Bank, Research Department.
  2. Maxime Leboeuf & Louis Morel, 2014. "Forecasting Short-Term Real GDP Growth in the Euro Area and Japan Using Unrestricted MIDAS Regressions," Discussion Papers 14-3, Bank of Canada.

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