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News, Noise, and Estimates of the "True" Unobserved State of the Economy

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  • Dennis J. Fixler
  • Jeremy Nalewaik

    (Bureau of Economic Analysis)

Abstract

Which provides a better estimates of the growth rate of “true” U.S. output, gross domestic product (GDP) or gross domestic income (GDI)? Past work has assumed the idiosyncratic variation in each estimate is pure noise, taking greater variability to imply lower reliability. We develop models that relax this assumption, allowing the idiosyncratic variation in the estimates to be partly or pure news; then greater variability may imply higher information content and greater reliability. Based on evidence from revisions, we reject the pure noise assumption for GDI growth, and our results favor placing sizable weight on GDI growth because of its relatively large idiosyncratic variability. This calls into question the suitability of the pure noise assumption in other contexts, including dynamic factor models.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Bureau of Economic Analysis in its series BEA Working Papers with number 0068.

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Date of creation: Mar 2010
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Handle: RePEc:bea:wpaper:0068

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  1. Jeremy J. Nalewaik, 2007. "Incorporating vintage differences and forecasts into Markov switching models," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2007-23, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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  7. Giannone, Domenico & Reichlin, Lucrezia & Small, David, 2008. "Nowcasting: The real-time informational content of macroeconomic data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 665-676, May.
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  12. Weale, Martin, 1992. "Estimation of Data Measured with Error and Subject to Linear Restrictions," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 7(2), pages 167-74, April-Jun.
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  17. Stone, Richard, 1984. "The Accounts of Society," Nobel Prize in Economics documents 1984-1, Nobel Prize Committee.
  18. Jon Faust & John H. Rogers & Jonathan H. Wright, 2000. "News and noise in G-7 GDP announcements," International Finance Discussion Papers 690, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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Cited by:
  1. Jeremy J. Nalewaik, 2008. "Lack of signal error (LoSE) and implications for OLS regression: measurement error for macro data," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2008-15, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. S. Boragan Aruoba & Francis X. Diebold & Jeremy Nalewaik & Frank Schorfheide & Dongo Song, 2011. "Improving GDP measurement: a forecast combination perspective," Working Papers 11-41, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  3. Dennis Fixler & David S. Johnson, 2012. "Accounting for the Distribution of Income in the U.S. National Accounts," NBER Chapters, in: Measuring Economic Sustainability and Progress National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Jeremy J. Nalewaik, 2006. "Estimating probabilities of recession in real time using GDP and GDI," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2007-07, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  5. Nalewaik, Jeremy J., 2011. "Incorporating vintage differences and forecasts into Markov switching models," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 281-307, April.
  6. Jeremy J. Nalewaik, 2011. "Forecasting recessions using stall speeds," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2011-24, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  7. J. Steven Landefeld & Eugene P. Seskin & Barbara M. Fraumeni, 2008. "Taking the Pulse of the Economy: Measuring GDP," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(2), pages 193-216, Spring.
  8. Jeremy J. Nalewaik, 2010. "The Income- and Expenditure-Side Estimates of U.S. Output Growth," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 41(1 (Spring), pages 71-127.

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