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Bottom-up or Direct? Forecasting German GDP in a Data-rich Environment

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  • Katja Drechsel
  • R. Scheufele

Abstract

This paper presents a method to conduct early estimates of GDP growth in Germany. We employ MIDAS regressions to circumvent the mixed frequency problem and use pooling techniques to summarize efficiently the information content of the various indicators. More specifically, we investigate whether it is better to disaggregate GDP (either via total value added of each sector or by the expenditure side) or whether a direct approach is more appropriate when it comes to forecasting GDP growth. Our approach combines a large set of monthly and quarterly coincident and leading indicators and takes into account the respective publication delay. In a simulated out-of-sample experiment we evaluate the different modelling strategies conditional on the given state of information and depending on the model averaging technique. The proposed approach is computationally simple and can be easily implemented as a nowcasting tool. Finally, this method also allows retracing the driving forces of the forecast and hence enables the interpretability of the forecast outcome.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Halle Institute for Economic Research in its series IWH Discussion Papers with number 7.

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Date of creation: Apr 2013
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Handle: RePEc:iwh:dispap:7-13

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Related research

Keywords: contemporaneous aggregation; nowcasting; leading indicators; MIDAS; forecast combination; forecast evaluation;

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References

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  1. Fair, Ray C & Shiller, Robert J, 1990. "Comparing Information in Forecasts from Econometric Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 375-89, June.
  2. 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.
  3. Katja Drechsel & Laurent Maurin, 2011. "Flow of conjunctural information and forecast of euro area economic activity," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(3), pages 336-354, April.
  4. Cristadoro, Riccardo & Forni, Mario & Reichlin, Lucrezia & Veronese, Giovanni, 2005. "A Core Inflation Indicator for the Euro Area," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 37(3), pages 539-60, June.
  5. 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.
  6. Katja Drechsel & Rolf Scheufele, 2011. "The Financial Crisis from a Forecaster’s Perspective," IWH Discussion Papers 5, Halle Institute for Economic Research.
  7. Francis X. Diebold & Peter Pauly, 1987. "The use of prior information in forecast combination," Special Studies Papers 218, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  8. Baffigi, Alberto & Golinelli, Roberto & Parigi, Giuseppe, 2004. "Bridge models to forecast the euro area GDP," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 447-460.
  9. Angelini, Elena & Camba-Méndez, Gonzalo & Giannone, Domenico & Rünstler, Gerhard & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 2008. "Short-term forecasts of euro area GDP growth," Working Paper Series 0949, European Central Bank.
  10. Anindya Banerjee & Massimiliano Marcellino & Igor Masten, 2003. "Leading Indicators for Euro-area Inflation and GDP Growth," Working Papers 235, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  11. Drechsel, Katja & Scheufele, Rolf, 2012. "The performance of short-term forecasts of the German economy before and during the 2008/2009 recession," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 428-445.
  12. repec:bla:buecrs:v:64:y:2012:i::p:s53-s70 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Michael P. Clements & Ana Beatriz Galvao, 2009. "Forecasting US output growth using leading indicators: an appraisal using MIDAS models," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(7), pages 1187-1206.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Marcus Cobb, 2014. "GDP Forecasting Bias due to Aggregation Inaccuracy in a Chain- Linking Framework," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 721, Central Bank of Chile.
  2. Teresa Buchen & Klaus Wohlrabe, 2013. "Assessing the Macroeconomic Forecasting Performance of Boosting - Evidence for the United States, the Euro Area, and Germany," CESifo Working Paper Series 4148, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Robert Lehmann & Klaus Wohlrabe, 2014. "Forecasting gross value-added at the regional level: are sectoral disaggregated predictions superior to direct ones?," Jahrbuch für Regionalwissenschaft, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 61-90, February.
  4. Lehmann, Robert & Wohlrabe, Klaus, 2013. "Forecasting GDP at the regional level with many predictors," Discussion Papers in Economics 17104, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  5. Weber, Enzo & Zika, Gerd, 2013. "Labour market forecasting : is disaggregation useful?," IAB Discussion Paper 201314, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
  6. Lehmann, Robert & Wohlrabe, Klaus, 2013. "Sectoral gross value-added forecasts at the regional level: Is there any information gain?," MPRA Paper 46765, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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