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Predicting the direction of change in aggregate demand growth and its components


  • Hamid Baghestani

    () (Department of Economics, American University of Sharjah)


In this study, we set up a framework to generate the forecasts of growth in aggregate demand and its components using real-time data. In general, these forecasts (for 1983-2008) accurately predict directional change under symmetric loss and are thus of value to a user who assigns similar cost (loss) to incorrect upward and downward predictions. Our model is simple yet useful, especially to economically-rational agents who tend to balance the predictive benefit of a forecast against the cost of gathering and processing information. We conclude by suggesting that the success of our model may have to do with the stationary behavior of the series as well as monetary policy that aims to achieve sustainable growth with stable prices.

Suggested Citation

  • Hamid Baghestani, 2010. "Predicting the direction of change in aggregate demand growth and its components," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 30(1), pages 292-302.
  • Handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-09-00760

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Baghestani, Hamid & Kherfi, Samer, 2008. "How well do U.S. consumers predict the direction of change in interest rates?," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 725-732, November.
    2. Dickey, David A & Fuller, Wayne A, 1981. "Likelihood Ratio Statistics for Autoregressive Time Series with a Unit Root," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 1057-1072, June.
    3. Greer, Mark, 2003. "Directional accuracy tests of long-term interest rate forecasts," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 291-298.
    4. Pesaran, M. Hashem & Timmermann, Allan, 2004. "How costly is it to ignore breaks when forecasting the direction of a time series?," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 411-425.
    5. Ash, J. C. K. & Smyth, D. J. & Heravi, S. M., 1998. "Are OECD forecasts rational and useful?: a directional analysis," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 381-391, September.
    6. Joutz, Fred & Stekler, H. O., 2000. "An evaluation of the predictions of the Federal Reserve," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 17-38.
    7. Leitch, Gordon & Tanner, J Ernest, 1991. "Economic Forecast Evaluation: Profits versus the Conventional Error Measures," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 580-590, June.
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    More about this item


    Macroeconomy; Monetary policy; Naïve forecast; Directional accuracy; Asymmetric or symmetric loss;

    JEL classification:

    • E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment
    • E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles


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