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A Three-Frequency Dynamic Factor Model for Nowcasting Canadian Provincial GDP Growth

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  • Tony Chernis
  • Calista Cheung
  • Gabriella Velasco

Abstract

This paper estimates a three-frequency dynamic factor model for nowcasting Canadian provincial gross domestic product (GDP). Canadian provincial GDP is released by Statistics Canada on an annual basis only, with a significant lag (11 months). This necessitates a mixed-frequency approach that can process timely monthly data, the quarterly national accounts and the annual target variable. The model is estimated on a wide set of provincial, national and international data. We assess the extent to which these indicators can be used to nowcast annual provincial GDP in a pseudo real-time setting and construct indicators of unobserved monthly GDP for each province that can be used to assess the state of regional economies. The monthly activity indicators fit the data well in-sample, are able to track business-cycle turning points across the provinces, and showcase the significant regional heterogeneity that characterizes a large diverse country like Canada. They also provide more timely indications of business-cycle turning points and are able to pick up shorter periods of economic contraction that would not be observed in the annual average. In a pseudo real-time exercise, we find the model outperforms simple benchmarks and is competitive with more sophisticated mixedfrequency approaches such as MIDAS models.

Suggested Citation

  • Tony Chernis & Calista Cheung & Gabriella Velasco, 2017. "A Three-Frequency Dynamic Factor Model for Nowcasting Canadian Provincial GDP Growth," Discussion Papers 17-8, Bank of Canada.
  • Handle: RePEc:bca:bocadp:17-8
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    Cited by:

    1. Shafiullah Qureshi & Ba M Chu & Fanny S. Demers, 2020. "Forecasting Canadian GDP growth using XGBoost," Carleton Economic Papers 20-14, Carleton University, Department of Economics, revised 24 Aug 2020.
    2. María Gil & Danilo Leiva-Leon & Javier J. Pérez & Alberto Urtasun, 2019. "An application of dynamic factor models to nowcast regional economic activity in Spain," Occasional Papers 1904, Banco de España.
    3. Christian Glocker & Philipp Wegmueller, 2020. "Business cycle dating and forecasting with real-time Swiss GDP data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 58(1), pages 73-105, January.
    4. Baumeister, Christiane & Guérin, Pierre, 2021. "A comparison of monthly global indicators for forecasting growth," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 1276-1295.
    5. González-Astudillo, Manuel & Baquero, Daniel, 2019. "A nowcasting model for Ecuador: Implementing a time-varying mean output growth," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 250-263.
    6. Danilo Leiva-Leon & Gabriel Perez-Quiros & Eyno Rots, 2020. "Real-time weakness of the global economy: a first assessment of the coronavirus crisis," Working Papers 2015, Banco de España.
    7. Evžen Kočenda & Karen Poghosyan, 2020. "Nowcasting Real GDP Growth: Comparison between Old and New EU Countries," Eastern European Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 58(3), pages 197-220, May.
    8. Chernis, Tony & Cheung, Calista & Velasco, Gabriella, 2020. "A three-frequency dynamic factor model for nowcasting Canadian provincial GDP growth," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 851-872.
    9. Robert Lehmann, 2020. "The Forecasting Power of the ifo Business Survey," CESifo Working Paper Series 8291, CESifo.
    10. Sarah Miller & David Amirault & Laurent Martin, 2017. "What’s Up with Unit Non-Response in the Bank of Canada’s Business Outlook Survey? The Effect of Staff Tenure," Discussion Papers 17-11, Bank of Canada.
    11. James Chapman & Ajit Desai, 2021. "Using Payments Data to Nowcast Macroeconomic Variables During the Onset of COVID-19," Staff Working Papers 21-2, Bank of Canada.
    12. Kevin Moran & Simplice Aimé Nono & Imad Rherrad, 2018. "Forecasting with Many Predictors: How Useful are National and International Confidence Data?," Cahiers de recherche 1814, Centre de recherche sur les risques, les enjeux économiques, et les politiques publiques.
    13. Philipp Wegmüller & Christian Glocker & Valentino Guggia, 2021. "Weekly Economic Activity: Measurement and Informational Content," WIFO Working Papers 627, WIFO.
    14. Shafiullah Qureshi & Ba Chu & Fanny S. Demers, 2021. "Forecasting Canadian GDP Growth with Machine Learning," Carleton Economic Papers 21-05, Carleton University, Department of Economics.
    15. Alexander Semin & Marina Vasiljeva & Alexander Sokolov & Nikolay Kuznetsov & Maksim Maramygin & Maria Volkova & Angelina Zekiy & Izabella Elyakova & Natalya Nikitina, 2020. "Improving Early Warning System Indicators for Crisis Manifestations in the Russian Economy," Journal of Open Innovation: Technology, Market, and Complexity, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(4), pages 1-21, November.
    16. Daniel Hopp, 2021. "Economic Nowcasting with Long Short-Term Memory Artificial Neural Networks (LSTM)," Papers 2106.08901, arXiv.org.
    17. Stankevich, Ivan, 2020. "Comparison of macroeconomic indicators nowcasting methods: Russian GDP case," Applied Econometrics, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), vol. 59, pages 113-127.
    18. Tony Chernis & Rodrigo Sekkel, 2018. "Nowcasting Canadian Economic Activity in an Uncertain Environment," Discussion Papers 18-9, Bank of Canada.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Business fluctuations and cycles; Econometric and statistical methods; Regional economic developments;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods
    • 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
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes

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