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Forecasting Consumption: the Role of Consumer Confidence in Real Time with many Predictors

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  • Kajal Lahiri
  • George Monokroussos
  • Yongchen Zhao

Abstract

We study the role of consumer confidence in forecasting real personal consumption expenditure, and contribute to the extant literature in three substantive ways: First, we reexamine existing empirical models of consumption and consumer confidence not only at the quarterly frequency, but using monthly data as well. Second, we employ real-time data in addition to commonly used revised vintages. Third, we investigate the role of consumer confidence in a rich information context. We produce forecasts of consumption expenditures with and without consumer confidence measures using a dynamic factor model and a large, real-time, jagged-edge data set. In a robust way, we establish the important role of confidence surveys in improving the accuracy of consumption forecasts, manifesting primarily through the services component. During the recession of 2007-09, sentiment is found to have a more pervasive effect on all components of aggregate consumption - durables, non-durables and services.
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  • Kajal Lahiri & George Monokroussos & Yongchen Zhao, 2016. "Forecasting Consumption: the Role of Consumer Confidence in Real Time with many Predictors," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(7), pages 1254-1275, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:japmet:v:31:y:2016:i:7:p:1254-1275
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E27 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications

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