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Forecasting national activity using lots of international predictors: An application to New Zealand

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  • Eickmeier, Sandra
  • Ng, Tim

Abstract

We assess the marginal predictive content of a large international dataset for forecasting GDP in New Zealand, an archetypal small open economy. We apply “data-rich” factor and shrinkage methods to efficiently handle hundreds of predictor series from many countries. The methods covered are principal components, targeted predictors, weighted principal components, partial least squares, elastic net and ridge regression. We find that exploiting a large international dataset can improve forecasts relative to data-rich approaches based on a large national dataset only, and also relative to more traditional approaches based on small datasets. This is in spite of New Zealand’s business and consumer confidence and expectations data capturing a substantial proportion of the predictive information in the international data. The largest forecasting accuracy gains from including international predictors are at longer forecast horizons. The forecasting performance achievable with the data-rich methods differs widely, with shrinkage methods and partial least squares performing best in handling the international data.

Suggested Citation

  • Eickmeier, Sandra & Ng, Tim, 2011. "Forecasting national activity using lots of international predictors: An application to New Zealand," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 496-511.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:intfor:v:27:y:2011:i:2:p:496-511
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ijforecast.2009.10.011
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    Cited by:

    1. Eickmeier, Sandra & Ng, Tim, 2011. "Forecasting national activity using lots of international predictors: An application to New Zealand," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 496-511, April.
    2. Jack Fosten, 2016. "Model selection with factors and variables," University of East Anglia School of Economics Working Paper Series 2016-07, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    3. Bušs, Ginters, 2009. "Comparing forecasts of Latvia's GDP using simple seasonal ARIMA models and direct versus indirect approach," MPRA Paper 16684, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Cubadda, Gianluca & Guardabascio, Barbara, 2012. "A medium-N approach to macroeconomic forecasting," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 1099-1105.
    5. Julieta Fuentes & Pilar Poncela & Julio Rodríguez, 2015. "Sparse Partial Least Squares in Time Series for Macroeconomic Forecasting," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(4), pages 576-595, June.
    6. Kopoin, Alexandre & Moran, Kevin & Paré, Jean-Pierre, 2013. "Forecasting regional GDP with factor models: How useful are national and international data?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 121(2), pages 267-270.
    7. Eickmeier, Sandra & Ng, Tim, 2011. "How Do Credit Supply Shocks Propagate Internationally? A GVAR approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 8720, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Robert Lehmann & Klaus Wohlrabe, 2015. "Forecasting GDP at the Regional Level with Many Predictors," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 16(2), pages 226-254, May.
    9. Chudik, Alexander & Grossman, Valerie & Pesaran, M. Hashem, 2016. "A multi-country approach to forecasting output growth using PMIs," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 192(2), pages 349-365.
    10. Halberstadt, Arne & Stapf, Jelena, 2012. "An affine multifactor model with macro factors for the German term structure: Changing results during the recent crises," Discussion Papers 25/2012, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    11. Schumacher, Christian, 2010. "Factor forecasting using international targeted predictors: The case of German GDP," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 107(2), pages 95-98, May.
    12. Duo Qin & Qingchao Wang, 2016. "Predictive Macro-Impacts of PLS-based Financial Conditions Indices: An Application to the USA," Working Papers 201, Department of Economics, SOAS, University of London, UK.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Forecasting; Factor models; Shrinkage methods; Principal components; Targeted predictors; Weighted principal components; Partial least squares; Ridge regression; Elastic net; International business cycles;

    JEL classification:

    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods
    • F47 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

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