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Forecasting economic and financial variables with global VARs

  • Pesaran, M. Hashem
  • Schuermann, Til
  • Smith, L. Vanessa

This paper considers the problem of forecasting economic and financial variables across a large number of countries in the global economy. To this end a global vector autoregressive (GVAR) model, previously estimated by Dees, di Mauro, Pesaran, and Smith (2007) and Dees, Holly, Pesaran, and Smith (2007) over the period 1979Q1-2003Q4, is used to generate out-of-sample forecasts one and four quarters ahead for real output, inflation, real equity prices, exchange rates and interest rates over the period 2004Q1-2005Q4. Forecasts are obtained for 134 variables from 26 regions, which are made up of 33 countries and cover about 90% of the world output. The forecasts are compared to typical benchmarks: univariate autoregressive and random walk models. Building on the forecast combination literature, the effects of model and estimation uncertainty on forecast outcomes are examined by pooling forecasts obtained from different GVAR models estimated over alternative sample periods. Given the size of the modelling problem, and the heterogeneity of the economies considered-industrialised, emerging, and less developed countries-as well as the very real likelihood of possibly multiple structural breaks, averaging forecasts across both models and windows makes a significant difference. Indeed, the double-averaged GVAR forecasts perform better than the benchmark competitors, especially for output, inflation and real equity prices.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Journal of Forecasting.

Volume (Year): 25 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 642-675

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Handle: RePEc:eee:intfor:v:25:y:2009:i:4:p:642-675
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ijforecast

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  8. Chudik, A. & Pesaran, M.H. & Tosetti, E., 2009. "Weak and Strong Cross Section Dependence and Estimation of Large Panels," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0924, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
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