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Diffusion index-based inflation forecasts for the euro area

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  • Angelini, Elena
  • Henry, Jérôme
  • Mestre, Ricardo

Abstract

Diffusion indexes based on dynamic factors have recently been advocated by Stock and Watson (1998), and further used to perform forecasting tests by the same authors on US data. This technique is explored for the euro area using a multi-country data set and a broad array of variables, in order to test the inflation forecasting performance of extracted factors at the aggregate euro area level. First, a description of factors extracted from different data sets is performed using a number of different approaches. Conclusions reached are that nominal phenomena in the original variables might be well captured in-sample using the factor approach. Out-of-sample tests have more ambiguous interpretation, as factors seem to be good leading indicators of inflation, but the comparative advantage of the factors is less clear. Nevertheless, alternative indicators such as unemployment or money growth do not outperform them JEL Classification: C53, E31, E37

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0061.

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Date of creation: Apr 2001
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20010061

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  1. Thomas J. Sargent & Christopher A. Sims, 1977. "Business cycle modeling without pretending to have too much a priori economic theory," Working Papers 55, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  2. Massimiliano Marcellino & James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, . "Macroeconomic Forecasting in the Euro Area: Country Specific versus Area-Wide Information," Working Papers 201, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  3. Angelini, Elena & Henry, Jérôme & Mestre, Ricardo, 2001. "A multi-country trend indicator for euro area inflation: computation and properties," Working Paper Series 0060, European Central Bank.
  4. Jushan Bai & Serena Ng, 2000. "Determining the Number of Factors in Approximate Factor Models," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 440, Boston College Department of Economics.
  5. Clements,Michael & Hendry,David, 1998. "Forecasting Economic Time Series," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521634809, October.
  6. Danny Quah & Thomas J. Sargent, 1993. "A Dynamic Index Model for Large Cross Sections," NBER Chapters, in: Business Cycles, Indicators and Forecasting, pages 285-310 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Forni, Mario & Hallin, Marc & Lippi, Marco & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 1999. "The Generalized Dynamic Factor Model: Identification and Estimation," CEPR Discussion Papers 2338, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Forni, Mario & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 1998. "Let's Get Real: A Factor Analytical Approach to Disaggregated Business Cycle Dynamics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(3), pages 453-73, July.
  9. Bernanke, Ben S. & Boivin, Jean, 2003. "Monetary policy in a data-rich environment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 525-546, April.
  10. Forni, Mario & Lippi, Marco, 2000. "The Generalized Dynamic Factor Model: Representation Theory," CEPR Discussion Papers 2509, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1998. "Diffusion Indexes," NBER Working Papers 6702, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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