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Nowcasting German GDP: A comparison of bridge and factor models

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  • Antipa, Pamfili
  • Barhoumi, Karim
  • Brunhes-Lesage, Véronique
  • Darné, Olivier

Abstract

Governments and central banks need to have an accurate and timely assessment of gross domestic product's (GDP) growth rate for the current quarter, as this is essential for providing a reliable and early analysis of the current economic situation. This paper presents a series of models conceived to forecast the current German GDP's quarterly growth rate. These models are designed to be used on a monthly basis by integrating monthly economic information through bridge models, thus allowing for the economic interpretation of the data. We do also forecast German GDP by dynamic factor models. The combination of these two approaches allows selecting economically relevant explanatory variables among a large data set of hard and soft data. In addition, a rolling forecast study is carried out to assess the forecasting performance of the estimated models. To this end, publication lags are taken into account in order to run pseudo out-of-sample forecasts. We show that it is possible to get reasonably good estimates of current quarterly GDP growth in anticipation of the official release, especially from bridge models.

Suggested Citation

  • Antipa, Pamfili & Barhoumi, Karim & Brunhes-Lesage, Véronique & Darné, Olivier, 2012. "Nowcasting German GDP: A comparison of bridge and factor models," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 864-878.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jpolmo:v:34:y:2012:i:6:p:864-878
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jpolmod.2012.01.010
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    GDP forecasting; Bridge models; Factor models;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C52 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Evaluation, Validation, and Selection
    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods
    • E20 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)

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