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Where Are We Now? Real-Time Estimates of the Macro Economy

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  • Evans, Martin D.D.

Abstract

This paper describes a method for calculating daily real-time estimates of the current state of the US economy. The estimates are computed from data on scheduled US macroeconomic announcements using an econometric model that allows for variable reporting lags, temporal aggregation, and other complications in the data. The model can be applied to find real-time estimates of GDP, inflation, unemployment or any other macroeconomic variable of interest. In this paper I focus on the problem of estimating the current level of and growth rate in GDP. I construct daily real-time estimates of GDP that incorporate public information known on the day in question. The real-time estimates produced by the model are uniquely suited to studying how perceived developments the macro economy are linked to asset prices over a wide range of frequencies. The estimates also provide, for the first time, daily time series that can be used in practical policy decisions.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5270.

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Date of creation: Oct 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5270

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Keywords: forecasting GDP; Kalman filtering; real-time data;

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References

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  1. Athanasios Orphanides, 1998. "Monetary policy rules based on real-time data," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-03, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Dean Croushore & Tom Stark, 1999. "A real-time data set for macroeconomists," Working Papers 99-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  3. 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.).
  4. Kitchen, John & Monaco, Ralph, 2003. "Real-Time Forecasting in Practice: The U.S. Treasury Staff's Real-Time GDP Forecast System," MPRA Paper 21068, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Oct 2003.
  5. Balduzzi, Pierluigi & Elton, Edwin J. & Green, T. Clifton, 2001. "Economic News and Bond Prices: Evidence from the U.S. Treasury Market," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 36(04), pages 523-543, December.
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  7. Anderson, Torben G. & Bollerslev, Tim & Diebold, Francis X. & Vega, Clara, 2002. "Micro Effects of Macro Announcements: Real-Time Price Discovery in Foreign Exchange," Working Papers 02-1, University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School, Weiss Center.
  8. Karen E. Dynan & Douglas Elmendorf, 2001. "Do provisional estimates of output miss economic turning points?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2001-52, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. Tom Stark & Dean Croushore, 2001. "Forecasting with a real-time data set for macroeconomists," Working Papers 01-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  10. Pierluigi Balduzzi & Edwin J. Elton & T. Clifton Green, 1996. "Economic News and the Yield Curve: Evidence From the U.S. Treasury Market," New York University, Leonard N. Stern School Finance Department Working Paper Seires 96-13, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business-.
  11. Chow, Gregory C & Lin, An-loh, 1971. "Best Linear Unbiased Interpolation, Distribution, and Extrapolation of Time Series by Related Series," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 53(4), pages 372-75, November.
  12. N. Gregory Mankiw & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1986. "News or Noise? An Analysis of GNP Revisions," NBER Working Papers 1939, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. John C. Robertson & Ellis W. Tallman, 1999. "Vector autoregressions: forecasting and reality," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q1, pages 4-18.
  14. Liu, H & Hall, Stephen G, 2001. "Creating High-Frequency National Accounts with State-Space Modelling: A Monte Carlo Experiment," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(6), pages 441-49, September.
  15. Roberto S. Mariano & Yasutomo Murasawa, 2003. "A new coincident index of business cycles based on monthly and quarterly series," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(4), pages 427-443.
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