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Short-term forecasts of French GDP: a dynamic factor model with targeted predictors

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  • Bessec, M.

Abstract

In recent years, factor models have received increasing attention from both econometricians and practitioners in the forecasting of macroeconomic variables. In this context, Bai and Ng (2008) find an improvement in selecting indicators according to the forecast variable prior to factor estimation (targeted predictors). In particular, they propose using the LARS-EN algorithm to remove irrelevant predictors. In this paper, we adapt the Bai and Ng procedure to a setup in which data releases are delayed and staggered. In the pre-selection step, we replace actual data with estimates obtained on the basis of past information, where the structure of the available information replicates the one a forecaster would face in real time. We estimate on the reduced dataset the dynamic factor model of Giannone, Reichlin and Small (2008) and Doz, Giannone and Reichlin (2011), which is particularly suitable for the very short-term forecast of GDP. A pseudo real-time evaluation on French data shows the potential of our approach.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Banque de France in its series Working papers with number 409.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bfr:banfra:409

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Keywords: GDP forecasting; factor models; variable selection; targeted predictors.;

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  1. Pesaran, M.H. & Timmermann, A., 1990. "A Simple, Non-Parametric Test Of Predictive Performance," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9021, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  2. G. Rünstler & K. Barhoumi & S. Benk & R. Cristadoro & A. Den Reijer & A. Jakaitiene & P. Jelonek & A. Rua & K. Ruth & C. Van Nieuwenhuyze, 2009. "Short-term forecasting of GDP using large datasets: a pseudo real-time forecast evaluation exercise," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(7), pages 595-611.
  3. Catherine Mathieu & Christine Rifflart & Hervé Péléraux & Mathieu Plane & Christophe Blot & Eric Heyer & Frédéric Reynès & Eric Heyer & Marion Cochard & Matthieu Lemoine & Paola Veroni & Amel Fa, 2008. "France : entrée dans le tunnel ? Scénarios 2008-2009 pour l'économie française," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/7641, Sciences Po.
  4. Bańbura, 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.
  5. Schumacher, Christian, 2005. "Forecasting German GDP using alternative factor models based on large datasets," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2005,24, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  6. Schumacher, Christian, 2010. "Factor forecasting using international targeted predictors: The case of German GDP," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 107(2), pages 95-98, May.
  7. Filippo Altissimo & Riccardo Cristadoro & Mario Forni & Marco Lippi & Giovanni Veronese, 2010. "New Eurocoin: Tracking Economic Growth in Real Time," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 1024-1034, November.
  8. Mario Forno & Marco Lippi & Lucrezia Reichlin & Filippo Altissimo & Antonio Bassanetti, 2003. "Eurocoin: A Real Time Coincident Indicator Of The Euro Area Business Cycle," Computing in Economics and Finance 2003 242, Society for Computational Economics.
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  11. Jean Boivin & Serena Ng, 2003. "Are More Data Always Better for Factor Analysis?," NBER Working Papers 9829, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Caggiano, Giovanni & Kapetanios, George & Labhard, Vincent, 2009. "Are more data always better for factor analysis? Results for the euro area, the six largest euro area countries and the UK," Working Paper Series 1051, European Central Bank.
  13. Karim Barhoumi & Olivier Darné & Laurent Ferrara, 2010. "Are disaggregate data useful for factor analysis in forecasting French GDP?," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(1-2), pages 132-144.
  14. Bai, Jushan & Ng, Serena, 2007. "Determining the Number of Primitive Shocks in Factor Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 25, pages 52-60, January.
  15. Hui Zou & Trevor Hastie, 2005. "Regularization and variable selection via the elastic net," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series B, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 67(2), pages 301-320.
  16. 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.
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  19. Guido Bulligan & Massimiliano Marcellino & Fabrizio Venditti, 2012. "Forecasting economic activity with higher frequency targeted predictors," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 847, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  20. 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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