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Nowcasting economic activity with electronic payments data: A predictive modeling approach

Author

Listed:
  • Carlos León

    ()

  • Fabio Ortega

    () (Banco de la República de Colombia
    Banco de la República de Colombia)

Abstract

Economic activity nowcasting (i.e. making current-period estimates) is convenient because most traditional measures of economic activity come with substantial lags. We aim at nowcasting ISE, a short-term economic activity indicator in Colombia. Inputs are ISE’s lags and a dataset of payments made with electronic transfers and cheques among individuals, firms, and the central government. Under a predictive modeling approach, we employ a nonlinear autoregressive exogenous neural network model. Results suggest that our choice of inputs and predictive method enable us to nowcast economic activity with fair accuracy. Also, we validate that electronic payments data significantly reduces the nowcast error of a benchmark non-linear autoregressive neural network model. Nowcasting economic activity from electronic payment instruments data not only contributes to agents’ decision making and economic modeling, but also supports new research paths on how to use retail payments data for appending current models.

Suggested Citation

  • Carlos León & Fabio Ortega, 2018. "Nowcasting economic activity with electronic payments data: A predictive modeling approach," Borradores de Economia 1037, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdr:borrec:1037
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    forecasting; machine learning; neural networks; retail payments; NARX.;

    JEL classification:

    • C45 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Neural Networks and Related Topics
    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods
    • E27 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications

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