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The Financial Crisis from a Forecaster’s Perspective

Listed author(s):
  • Katja Drechsel

    (Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung Halle (IWH), Abteilung Makro- ökonomik, Kleine Märkerstraße 8, D-06108 Halle (Saale))

  • Rolf Scheufele

    (Schweizerische Nationalbank, Börsenstraße 15, CH-8022 Zürich)

This paper analyses the recession in 2008/2009 in Germany. This recession is very different from previous recessions in particular regarding their causes and magnitude. We show to what extent forecasters and forecasts based on leading indicators fail to detect the timing and the magnitude of the recession. This study shows that large forecast errors for both expert forecasts and forecasts based on leading indicators resulted during this recession which implies that the recession was very difficult to forecast. However, some leading indicators (survey data, risk spreads, stock prices) have indicated an economic downturn and hence, beat univariate time series models. Although the combination of individual forecasts provides an improvement compared to the benchmark model, the combined forecasts are worse than several individual models. A comparison of expert forecasts with the best forecasts based on leading indicators shows only minor deviations. Overall, the range for an improvement of expert forecasts in the crisis compared to indicator forecasts is small.

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Article provided by Credit and Capital Markets in its journal Kredit und Kapital.

Volume (Year): 45 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 1-26

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Handle: RePEc:kuk:journl:v:45:y:2012:i:1:p:1-26
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.credit-and-capital-markets.de/

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  1. Katja Drechsel & Laurent Maurin, 2011. "Flow of conjunctural information and forecast of euro area economic activity," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(3), pages 336-354, April.
  2. Fritsche Ulrich & Stephan Sabine, 2002. "Leading Indicators of German Business Cycles. An Assessment of Properties / Frühindikatoren der deutschen Konjunktur. Eine Beurteilung ihrer Eigenschaften," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 222(3), pages 289-315, June.
  3. Drechsel, Katja & Scheufele, Rolf, 2010. "Should We Trust in Leading Indicators? Evidence from the Recent Recession," IWH Discussion Papers 10/2010, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
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  6. Kholodilin Konstantin Arkadievich & Siliverstovs Boriss, 2006. "On the Forecasting Properties of the Alternative Leading Indicators for the German GDP: Recent Evidence," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 226(3), pages 234-259, June.
  7. Galbraith, John W. & Tkacz, Greg, 2000. "Testing for asymmetry in the link between the yield spread and output in the G-7 countries," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 657-672, October.
  8. Gebhardt Kirschgässner & Marcel Savioz, 2001. "Monetary Policy and Forecasts for Real GDP Growth: An Empirical Investigation for the Federal Republic of Germany," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 2(4), pages 339-365, November.
  9. Schumacher, Christian & Breitung, Jörg, 2008. "Real-time forecasting of German GDP based on a large factor model with monthly and quarterly data," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 386-398.
  10. Diebold, Francis X & Mariano, Roberto S, 2002. "Comparing Predictive Accuracy," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(1), pages 134-144, January.
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  12. Ager, P. & Kappler, M. & Osterloh, S., 2009. "The accuracy and efficiency of the Consensus Forecasts: A further application and extension of the pooled approach," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 167-181.
  13. Andrews, Donald W K, 1993. "Tests for Parameter Instability and Structural Change with Unknown Change Point," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(4), pages 821-856, July.
  14. Kapetanios, George & Labhard, Vincent & Price, Simon, 2008. "Forecasting Using Bayesian and Information-Theoretic Model Averaging: An Application to U.K. Inflation," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 26, pages 33-41, January.
  15. James H. Stock & Mark W.Watson, 2003. "Forecasting Output and Inflation: The Role of Asset Prices," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(3), pages 788-829, September.
  16. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2003. "How did leading indicator forecasts perform during the 2001 recession?," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Sum, pages 71-90.
  17. Hansen, Bruce E., 2008. "Least-squares forecast averaging," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 146(2), pages 342-350, October.
  18. Mark W. Watson & James H. Stock, 2004. "Combination forecasts of output growth in a seven-country data set," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(6), pages 405-430.
  19. Benner, Joachim & Meier, Carsten-Patrick, 2005. "Was leisten Stimmungsindikatoren für die Prognose des realen Bruttoinlandsprodukts in Deutschland? Eine Echtzeit-Analyse," Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy 3725, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  20. Johann Burgstaller, 2009. "Financial Predictors of Real Activity and the Propagation of Aggregate Shocks," Credit and Capital Markets, Credit and Capital Markets, vol. 42(1), pages 1-23.
  21. Sauer, Christine & Scheide, Joachim, 1995. "Money, interest rate spreads, and economic activity," Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy 1664, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
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