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Forecasting economic activity with higher frequency targeted predictors

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Author Info

  • Guido Bulligan

    ()
    (Bank of Italy)

  • Massimiliano Marcellino

    ()
    (European University Institute, Bocconi University)

  • Fabrizio Venditti

    ()
    (Bank of Italy)

Abstract

In this paper we explore the performance of bridge and factor models in forecasting quarterly aggregates in the very short-term subject to a pre-selection of monthly indicators. Starting from a large information set, we select a subset of targeted predictors using data reduction techniques as in Bai and Ng (2008). We then compare a Diffusion Index forecasting model as in Stock and Watson (2002), with a Bridge model specified with an automated General-To-Specific routine. We apply these techniques to forecasting Italian GDP growth and its main components from the demand side and find that Bridge models outperform naive forecasts and compare favorably against factor models. Results for France, Germany, Spain and the euro area confirm these findings.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area in its series Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) with number 847.

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Date of creation: Jan 2012
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Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_847_12

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Keywords: short-term GDP forecast; factor models; bridge models; General To Specific;

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References

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  1. Kevin Hoover & Stephen J. Perez, 2003. "Data Mining Reconsidered: Encompassing And The General-To-Specific Approach To Specification Search," Working Papers 9727, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  2. Banbura, Marta & Rünstler, Gerhard, 2011. "A look into the factor model black box: Publication lags and the role of hard and soft data in forecasting GDP," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 333-346, April.
  3. Marie Diron, 2008. "Short-term forecasts of euro area real GDP growth: an assessment of real-time performance based on vintage data," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(5), pages 371-390.
  4. Angelini, Elena & Camba-Méndez, Gonzalo & Giannone, Domenico & Rünstler, Gerhard & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 2008. "Short-term forecasts of euro area GDP growth," Working Paper Series 0949, European Central Bank.
  5. Marcellino, Massimiliano & Schumacher, Christian, 2007. "Factor-MIDAS for now- and forecasting with ragged-edge data: a model comparison for German GDP," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2007,34, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  6. Boivin, Jean & Ng, Serena, 2006. "Are more data always better for factor analysis?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 169-194, May.
  7. Riccardo Cristadoro & Fabrizio Venditti & Giuseppe Saporito, 2008. "Forecasting inflation and tracking monetary policy in the euro area: does national information help?," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 677, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  8. Baffigi, Alberto & Golinelli, Roberto & Parigi, Giuseppe, 2004. "Bridge models to forecast the euro area GDP," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 447-460.
  9. Barhoumi, K. & Brunhes-Lesage, V. & Darné, O. & Ferrara, L. & Pluyaud, B. & Rouvreau, B., 2008. "Monthly forecasting of French GDP: A revised version of the OPTIM model," Working papers 222, Banque de France.
  10. Guido Bulligan & Roberto Golinelli & Giuseppe Parigi, 2010. "Forecasting monthly industrial production in real-time: from single equations to factor-based models," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 303-336, October.
  11. D’Agostino, Antonello & Giannone, Domenico, 2006. "Comparing alternative predictors based on large-panel factor models," Working Paper Series 0680, European Central Bank.
  12. 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.
  13. Michael Artis & Massimiliano Marcellino & Tommaso Proietti, 2004. "Dating Business Cycles: A Methodological Contribution with an Application to the Euro Area," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 66(4), pages 537-565, 09.
  14. Bai, Jushan & Ng, Serena, 2008. "Forecasting economic time series using targeted predictors," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 146(2), pages 304-317, October.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Matteo Luciani & Libero Monteforte, 2012. "Uncertainty and Heterogeneity in factor models forecasting," Working Papers 5, Department of the Treasury, Ministry of the Economy and of Finance.
  2. Bessec, Marie, 2013. "Short-term forecasts of French GDP: A dynamic factor model with targeted predictors," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/10079, Paris Dauphine University.
  3. Roberto Golinelli & Giuseppe Parigi, 2013. "Tracking world trade and GDP in real time," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 920, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  4. A. Girardi & R. Golinelli & C. Pappalardo, 2014. "The Role of Indicator Selection in Nowcasting Euro Area GDP in Pseudo Real Time," Working Papers wp919, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.

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