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Do sentiment indicators help to assess and predict actual developments of the Chinese economy?

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  • Aaron Mehrotra
  • Jouko Rautava

Abstract

This paper evaluates the usefulness of business sentiment indicators for forecasting developments in the Chinese real economy. We use data on diffusion indices collected by the People's Bank of China for forecasting industrial production, retail sales and exports. Our bivariate vector autoregressive models, each composed of one diffusion index and one real sector variable, generally outperform univariate autoregressive models in forecasting one to four quarters ahead. Similarly, principal components analysis, combining information from various diffusion indices, leads to enhanced forecasting performance. Our results indicate that Chinese business sentiment indicators convey useful information about current and future developments in the real economy. Moreover, the results could be seen as support for the reliability of the official data on the real economy, as both survey and real sector data seem to reflect the same underlying economic dynamics. … But historically, we always observed in the past that the hard data followed suit soft data. There was a strong correlation. (Jean-Claude Trichet, President of the European Central Bank)1

Suggested Citation

  • Aaron Mehrotra & Jouko Rautava, 2008. "Do sentiment indicators help to assess and predict actual developments of the Chinese economy?," Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(3), pages 225-239.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jocebs:v:6:y:2008:i:3:p:225-239
    DOI: 10.1080/14765280802283451
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    Cited by:

    1. Joscha Beckmann & Ansgar Belke & Michael Kühl, 2011. "Global Integration of Central and Eastern European Financial Markets—The Role of Economic Sentiments," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(1), pages 137-157, February.
    2. Ansgar Belke & Joscha Beckmann & Michael Kühl, 2010. "Global Integration of Central and Eastern European Financial Markets – The Role of Economic Sentiments," Ruhr Economic Papers 0174, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    3. Juuso Kaaresvirta & Aaron Mehrotra, 2009. "Business surveys and inflation forecasting in China," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 42(4), pages 263-271, November.
    4. repec:zbw:rwirep:0174 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    forecasting; diffusion index; VAR; China;

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E37 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • P27 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Performance and Prospects

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