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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. Schumacher, Christian, 2010. "Factor forecasting using international targeted predictors: The case of German GDP," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 107(2), pages 95-98, May.
  2. Pesaran, M Hashem & Timmermann, Allan, 1992. "A Simple Nonparametric Test of Predictive Performance," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 10(4), pages 561-65, October.
  3. Banbura, Marta & Rünstler, Gerhard, 2007. "A look into the factor model black box: publication lags and the role of hard and soft data in forecasting GDP," Working Paper Series 0751, European Central Bank.
  4. Barhoumi, K. & Darné, O. & Ferrara, L., 2009. "Are disaggregate data useful for factor analysis in forecasting French GDP?," Working papers 232, Banque de France.
  5. Giannone, Domenico & Reichlin, Lucrezia & Small, David H., 2006. "Nowcasting GDP and inflation: the real-time informational content of macroeconomic data releases," Working Paper Series 0633, European Central Bank.
  6. Filippo Altissimo & Riccardo Cristadoro & Mario Forni & Marco Lippi & Giovanni Veronese, 2007. "New Eurocoin: Tracking Economic Growth in Real Time," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 631, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  7. Eric Heyer & Christophe Blot & Marion Cochard & Hervé Péléraux & Mathieu Plane, 2008. "France : entrée dans le tunnel ? Scénarios 2008-2009 pour l'économie française," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/7724, Sciences Po.
  8. 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.
  9. D'Agostino, Antonello & McQuinn, Kieran & O'Brien, Derry, 2011. "Nowcasting Irish GDP," MPRA Paper 32941, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Altissimo, Filippo & Bassanetti, Antonio & Cristadoro, Riccardo & Forni, Mario & Hallin, Marc & Lippi, Marco & Reichlin, Lucrezia & Veronese, Giovanni, 2001. "EuroCOIN: A Real Time Coincident Indicator of the Euro Area Business Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 3108, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Christian Schumacher, 2007. "Forecasting German GDP using alternative factor models based on large datasets," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(4), pages 271-302.
  15. Doz, Catherine & Giannone, Domenico & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 2007. "A Two-Step Estimator for Large Approximate Dynamic Factor Models Based on Kalman Filtering," CEPR Discussion Papers 6043, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Jushan Bai & Serena Ng, 2002. "Determining the Number of Factors in Approximate Factor Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(1), pages 191-221, January.
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  18. Andersson, Magnus & D'Agostino, Antonello, 2008. "Are sectoral stock prices useful for predicting euro area GDP?," Research Technical Papers 2/RT/08, Central Bank of Ireland.
  19. Hui Zou & Trevor Hastie, 2005. "Addendum: Regularization and variable selection via the elastic net," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series B, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 67(5), pages 768-768.
  20. Giovanni Caggiano & George Kapetanios & Vincent Labhard, 2011. "Are more data always better for factor analysis? Results for the euro area, the six largest euro area countries and the UK," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(8), pages 736-752, December.
  21. Jean Boivin & Serena Ng, 2003. "Are More Data Always Better for Factor Analysis?," NBER Working Papers 9829, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Bai, Jushan & Ng, Serena, 2008. "Forecasting economic time series using targeted predictors," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 146(2), pages 304-317, October.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
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