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A Macroeconomic News Index for Constructing Nowcasts of U.S. Real Gross Domestic Product Growth

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Abstract

Analyzing the performance of the economy in real time is a challenge for those who must forecast macroeconomic variables such as inflation or employment. A key aspect of this challenge is evaluating the incoming flow of information contained in economic announcements. In this article, the authors develop a simple-to-read index of these announcements that they then use to construct nowcasts. The index tracks whether key economic data have come in stronger, weaker, or as expected during the current quarter relative to a baseline consensus forecast. Specifically, the data releases are weighted relative to their importance in updating forecasts of real gross domestic product growth during the current quarter.

Suggested Citation

  • Grover, Sean P. & Kliesen, Kevin L. & McCracken, Michael W., 2016. "A Macroeconomic News Index for Constructing Nowcasts of U.S. Real Gross Domestic Product Growth," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, vol. 98(4), pages 277-296.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlrv:00065
    DOI: 10.20955/r.2016.277-296
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    File URL: https://files.stlouisfed.org/files/htdocs/publications/review/2016-12-05//a-macroeconomic-news-index-for-constructing-nowcasts-of-u-s-real-gross-domestic-product-growth.pdf
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.20955/r.2016.277-296
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Giannone, Domenico & Reichlin, Lucrezia & Small, David, 2008. "Nowcasting: The real-time informational content of macroeconomic data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 665-676, May.
    2. Brave, Scott & Butters, R. Andrew, 2014. "Nowcasting Using the Chicago Fed National Activity Index," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q I, pages 19-37.
    3. Kliesen, Kevin L., 2014. "A guide to tracking the U.S. economy," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, vol. 96(1), pages 35-54.
    4. Jessica James & Kristjan Kasikov, 2008. "Impact of economic data surprises on exchange rates in the inter-dealer market," Quantitative Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(1), pages 5-15.
    5. Giannone, Domenico & Reichlin, Lucrezia & Small, David, 2005. "Nowcasting GDP and Inflation: The Real Time Informational Content of Macroeconomic Data Releases," CEPR Discussion Papers 5178, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Kozicki, Sharon & Tinsley, P. A., 2001. "Shifting endpoints in the term structure of interest rates," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 613-652, June.
    7. Kelly, Bryan & Pruitt, Seth, 2015. "The three-pass regression filter: A new approach to forecasting using many predictors," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 186(2), pages 294-316.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alberto Caruso, 2018. "Macroeconomic News and Market Reaction: Surprise Indexes meet Nowcasting," Working Papers ECARES 2018-06, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes
    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods
    • E37 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications

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