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Probability Forecast of Downturn in U.S. Economy Using Classical Statistical Decision Theory

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  • Mostaghimi, Mehdi
  • Rezayat, Fahimeh

Abstract

This paper presents a methodology for producing a probability forecast of a turning point in U.S. economy using Composite Leading Indicators. This methodology is based on classical statistical decision theory and uses information-theoretic measurement to produce a probability. The methodology is flexible using as many historical data points as desired. This methodology is applied to producing probability forecasts of a downturn in U.S. economy in the 1970-1990 period. Four probability forecasts are produced using different amounts of information. The performance of these forecasts is evaluated using the actual downturn points and the scores measuring accuracy, calibration, and resolution. An indirect comparison of these forecasts with Diebold and Rudebusch's sequential probability recursion is also presented. It is shown that the performances of our best two models are statistically different from the performance of the three-consecutive-month decline model and are the same as the one for the best probit model. The probit model, however, is more conservative in its predictions than our two models.

Suggested Citation

  • Mostaghimi, Mehdi & Rezayat, Fahimeh, 1996. "Probability Forecast of Downturn in U.S. Economy Using Classical Statistical Decision Theory," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 255-279.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:empeco:v:21:y:1996:i:2:p:255-79
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    Cited by:

    1. Mehdi Mostaghimi, 2004. "Monetary policy, composite leading economic indicators and predicting the 2001 recession," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(7), pages 463-477.
    2. Ash, J. C. K. & Smyth, D. J. & Heravi, S. M., 1998. "Are OECD forecasts rational and useful?: a directional analysis," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 381-391, September.

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