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The Forecasting Performance of Real Time Estimates of the EURO Area Output Gap

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  • Massimiliano Marcellino
  • Alberto Musso

Abstract

This paper provides real time evidence on the usefulness of the euro area output gap as a leading indicator for inflation and growth. A genuine real-time data set for the euro area is used, including vintages of several alternative gap estimates. It turns out that, despite some difference across output gap estimates and forecast horizons, the results point clearly to a lack of any usefulness of real-time output gap estimates for inflation forecasting both in the short term (one-quarter and one-year ahead) and the medium term (two-year and three-year ahead). By contrast, we find some evidence that several output gap estimates are useful to forecast real GDP growth, particularly in the short term, and some appear also useful in the medium run. A comparison with the US yields similar conclusions.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European University Institute in its series Economics Working Papers with number ECO2010/15.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:eui:euiwps:eco2010/15

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Keywords: Output gap; real-time data; euro area; inflation forecasts; real GDP forecasts; data revisions.;

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  1. Mesonnier, Jean-Stephane & Renne, Jean-Paul, 2007. "A time-varying "natural" rate of interest for the euro area," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(7), pages 1768-1784, October.
  2. Orphanides, Athanasios & van Norden, Simon, 2005. "The Reliability of Inflation Forecasts Based on Output Gap Estimates in Real Time," CEPR Discussion Papers 4830, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Domenico Giannone & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2005. "Trends and cycles in the Euro Area: how much heterogeneity and should we worry about it?," Macroeconomics 0511016, EconWPA.
  4. Garratt, Anthony & Mitchell, James & Vahey, Shaun, 2010. "Measuring Output Gap Uncertainty," CEPR Discussion Papers 7742, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Tommaso PROIETTI & Alberto MUSSO & Thomas WESTERMANN, 2002. "Estimating Potential Output and the Output Gap for the Euro Area: a Model-Based Production Function Approach," Economics Working Papers ECO2002/09, European University Institute.
  6. Musso, Alberto & Stracca, Livio & van Dijk, Dick, 2007. "Instability and nonlinearity in the euro area Phillips curve," Working Paper Series 0811, European Central Bank.
  7. Clark, Todd E. & McCracken, Michael W., 2005. "The power of tests of predictive ability in the presence of structural breaks," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 124(1), pages 1-31, January.
  8. Clark, Todd E. & McCracken, Michael W., 2006. "The Predictive Content of the Output Gap for Inflation: Resolving In-Sample and Out-of-Sample Evidence," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(5), pages 1127-1148, August.
  9. Todd E. Clark & Michael W. McCracken, 2007. "Tests of equal predictive ability with real-time data," Research Working Paper RWP 07-06, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
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Cited by:
  1. Marcellino, Massimiliano & Musso, Alberto, 2010. "The Reliability of Real Time Estimates of the Euro Area Output Gap," CEPR Discussion Papers 7716, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. João Sousa Andrade & António Portugal Duarte, 2014. "Output-gaps in the PIIGS Economies: An Ingredient of a Greek Tragedy," GEMF Working Papers 2014-06, GEMF - Faculdade de Economia, Universidade de Coimbra.
  3. Czudaj, Robert, 2011. "P-star in times of crisis - Forecasting inflation for the euro area," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 390-407, September.

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