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Financial nowcasts and their usefulness in macroeconomic forecasting

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  • Knotek, Edward S.
  • Zaman, Saeed

Abstract

Financial data often contain information that is helpful for macroeconomic forecasting, while multi-step forecast accuracy benefits from incorporating good nowcasts of macroeconomic variables. This paper considers the usefulness of financial nowcasts for making conditional forecasts of macroeconomic variables with quarterly Bayesian vector autoregressions (BVARs). When nowcasting quarterly financial variables’ values, we find that taking the average of the available daily data and a daily random walk forecast to complete the quarter typically outperforms other nowcasting approaches. Using real-time data, we find gains in out-of-sample forecast accuracy from the inclusion of financial nowcasts relative to unconditional forecasts, with further gains from the incorporation of nowcasts of macroeconomic variables. Conditional forecasts from quarterly BVARs augmented with financial nowcasts rival the forecast accuracy of mixed-frequency dynamic factor models and mixed-data sampling (MIDAS) models.

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  • Knotek, Edward S. & Zaman, Saeed, 2019. "Financial nowcasts and their usefulness in macroeconomic forecasting," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 1708-1724.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:intfor:v:35:y:2019:i:4:p:1708-1724
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ijforecast.2018.10.012
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    1. June Reading List
      by Dave Giles in Econometrics Beat: Dave Giles' Blog on 2017-06-03 19:16:00

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    Cited by:

    1. Tallman, Ellis W. & Zaman, Saeed, 2020. "Combining survey long-run forecasts and nowcasts with BVAR forecasts using relative entropy," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 373-398.
    2. Knotek, Edward S. & Zaman, Saeed, 2019. "Financial nowcasts and their usefulness in macroeconomic forecasting," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 1708-1724.
    3. Edward S. Knotek & Saeed Zaman, 2020. "Real-Time Density Nowcasts of US Inflation: A Model-Combination Approach," Working Papers 202031, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    4. Brandyn Bok & Daniele Caratelli & Domenico Giannone & Argia M. Sbordone & Andrea Tambalotti, 2018. "Macroeconomic Nowcasting and Forecasting with Big Data," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 10(1), pages 615-643, August.
    5. Mahmut Gunay, 2020. "Nowcasting Turkish GDP with MIDAS: Role of Functional Form of the Lag Polynomial," Working Papers 2002, Research and Monetary Policy Department, Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Conditional forecasting; Nowcasting; Bayesian VARs; Mixed-frequency models; Real-time data;

    JEL classification:

    • C11 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Bayesian Analysis: General
    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods
    • G17 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Financial Forecasting and Simulation

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