IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/wly/jforec/v31y2012i1p15-46.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Role of Financial Variables in predicting economic activity

Author

Listed:
  • Raphael Espinoza
  • Fabio Fornari
  • Marco J. Lombardi

Abstract

Previous research has shown that the US business cycle leads the European cycle by a few quarters, and can therefore help predicting euro area GDP. We investigate whether financial variables provide additional predictive power. We use a VAR model of the US and the euro area GDPs and extend it to take into account common global shocks and information provided by selected combinations of financial variables. In-sample analysis shows that shocks to financial variables influence real activity with a peak around 4 to 6 quarters after the shock. Out-of-sample Root-Mean- Squared Forecast Error (RMFE) shows that adding financial variables yields smaller errors in fore-casting US economic activity, especially at a five- quarter horizon, but the gain is overall tiny in economic terms. This link is even less prominent in the euro area, where financial indicators do not improve short and medium term GDP forecasts even when their timely availability, relative to a given GDP release, is exploited. The same conclusion is reached with a dataset of quarterly industrial production indices, although financial variables marginally improve fore- casts of monthly industrial production. We argue that the findings that financial variables have no predictive power for future activity in the euro area relate to the unconditional nature of the RMFE metric. When forecasting ability is assessed as if in real time (i.e. conditionally on the information available at the time when forecasts are made), we find that models using financial variables would have been preferred in many episodes, and in particular between 1999 and 2002. Results from the historical decomposition of a VAR model indeed suggest that in that period shocks were predominantly of financial nature. JEL Classification: F30, F42, F47
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Raphael Espinoza & Fabio Fornari & Marco J. Lombardi, 2012. "The Role of Financial Variables in predicting economic activity," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(1), pages 15-46, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jforec:v:31:y:2012:i:1:p:15-46
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    Other versions of this item:

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F30 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - General
    • F42 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - International Policy Coordination and Transmission
    • F47 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wly:jforec:v:31:y:2012:i:1:p:15-46. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/2966 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.