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A look into the factor model black box: Publication lags and the role of hard and soft data in forecasting GDP

  • Banbura, Marta
  • Rünstler, Gerhard

We derive forecast weights and uncertainty measures for assessing the roles of individual series in a dynamic factor model (DFM) for forecasting the euro area GDP from monthly indicators. The use of the Kalman smoother allows us to deal with publication lags when calculating the above measures. We find that surveys and financial data contain important information for the GDP forecasts beyond the monthly real activity measures. However, this is discovered only if their more timely publication is taken into account properly. Differences in publication lags play a very important role and should be considered in forecast evaluation.

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

Volume (Year): 27 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 333-346

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Handle: RePEc:eee:intfor:v:27:y::i:2:p:333-346
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