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A monthly consumption indicator for Germany based on Internet search query data

  • Simeon Vosen
  • Torsten Schmidt

This study introduces a monthly coincident indicator for consumption in Germany based on Google Trends data on web search activity. In real-time nowcasting experiments the indicator outperforms common survey-based indicators in predicting consumption. Unlike those indicators, it provides predictive information beyond that already captured in other macroeconomic variables.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Applied Economics Letters.

Volume (Year): 19 (2012)
Issue (Month): 7 (May)
Pages: 683-687

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Handle: RePEc:taf:apeclt:v:19:y:2012:i:7:p:683-687
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  1. Croushore, Dean, 2005. "Do consumer-confidence indexes help forecast consumer spending in real time?," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 435-450, December.
  2. Schmidt, Torsten & Vosen, Simeon, 2009. "Forecasting Private Consumption: Survey-based Indicators vs. Google Trends," Ruhr Economic Papers 155, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (RWI), Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
  3. Harvey, David & Leybourne, Stephen & Newbold, Paul, 1997. "Testing the equality of prediction mean squared errors," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 281-291, June.
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  7. Jason Bram & Sydney Ludvigson, 1998. "Does consumer confidence forecast household expenditure? a sentiment index horse race," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Jun, pages 59-78.
  8. Sydney C. Ludvigson, 2004. "Consumer Confidence and Consumer Spending," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(2), pages 29-50, Spring.
  9. Askitas, Nikos & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2009. "Google Econometrics and Unemployment Forecasting," IZA Discussion Papers 4201, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Diebold, Francis X & Mariano, Roberto S, 2002. "Comparing Predictive Accuracy," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(1), pages 134-44, January.
  11. W. Jos Jansen & Niek J. Nahuis, 2004. "Which survey indicators are useful for monitoring consumption? Evidence from European countries," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(2), pages 89-98.
  12. John McDermott & Viv B. Hall, . "A quarterly Post-World War II Real GDP Series for New Zealand," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series DP2009/12, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
  13. Stock, James H & Watson, Mark W, 2002. "Macroeconomic Forecasting Using Diffusion Indexes," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(2), pages 147-62, April.
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