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Short-term forecasts of French GDP: a dynamic factor model with targeted predictors

  • Bessec, M.

In recent years, factor models have received increasing attention from both econometricians and practitioners in the forecasting of macroeconomic variables. In this context, Bai and Ng (2008) find an improvement in selecting indicators according to the forecast variable prior to factor estimation (targeted predictors). In particular, they propose using the LARS-EN algorithm to remove irrelevant predictors. In this paper, we adapt the Bai and Ng procedure to a setup in which data releases are delayed and staggered. In the pre-selection step, we replace actual data with estimates obtained on the basis of past information, where the structure of the available information replicates the one a forecaster would face in real time. We estimate on the reduced dataset the dynamic factor model of Giannone, Reichlin and Small (2008) and Doz, Giannone and Reichlin (2011), which is particularly suitable for the very short-term forecast of GDP. A pseudo real-time evaluation on French data shows the potential of our approach.

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Paper provided by Banque de France in its series Working papers with number 409.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bfr:banfra:409
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Banque de France 31 Rue Croix des Petits Champs LABOLOG - 49-1404 75049 PARIS

Web page: http://www.banque-france.fr/

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  1. Eric Heyer & Christophe Blot & Marion Cochard & Hervé Péléraux & Mathieu Plane, 2008. "France : entrée dans le tunnel ? Scénarios 2008-2009 pour l'économie française," Post-Print hal-01022405, HAL.
  2. Schumacher, Christian, 2005. "Forecasting German GDP using alternative factor models based on large datasets," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2005,24, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  3. D'Agostino, Antonello & McQuinn, Kieran & O'Brien, Derry, 2011. "Nowcasting Irish GDP," MPRA Paper 32941, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Elena Angelini & Gonzalo Camba‐Mendez & Domenico Giannone & Lucrezia Reichlin & Gerhard Rünstler, 2011. "Short‐term forecasts of euro area GDP growth," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 14, pages C25-C44, 02.
  5. Catherine Doz & Domenico Giannone & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2006. "A Two-step estimator for large approximate dynamic factor models based on Kalman filtering," THEMA Working Papers 2006-23, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
  6. Pesaran, M.H. & Timmermann, A., 1990. "A Simple, Non-Parametric Test Of Predictive Performance," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9021, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  7. Giannone, Domenico & Reichlin, Lucrezia & Small, David, 2008. "Nowcasting: The real-time informational content of macroeconomic data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 665-676, May.
  8. Andersson, Magnus & D'Agostino, Antonello, 2008. "Are sectoral stock prices useful for predicting euro area GDP?," Research Technical Papers 2/RT/08, Central Bank of Ireland.
  9. Irac, D. & Sédillot, F., 2002. "Short-Run Assessment of French Economic Activity Using OPTIM," Working papers 88, Banque de France.
  10. Hui Zou & Trevor Hastie, 2005. "Regularization and variable selection via the elastic net," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series B, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 67(2), pages 301-320.
  11. Jushan Bai & Serena Ng, 2002. "Determining the Number of Factors in Approximate Factor Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(1), pages 191-221, January.
  12. Bai, Jushan & Ng, Serena, 2008. "Forecasting economic time series using targeted predictors," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 146(2), pages 304-317, October.
  13. Diron, Marie, 2006. "Short-term forecasts of euro area real GDP growth: an assessment of real-time performance based on vintage data," Working Paper Series 0622, European Central Bank.
  14. Guido Bulligan & Massimiliano Marcellino & Fabrizio Venditti, 2012. "Forecasting economic activity with higher frequency targeted predictors," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 847, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  15. Filippo Altissimo & Antonio Bassanetti & Riccardo Cristadoro & Mario Forni & Marco Lippi & Lucrezia Reichlin & Giovanni Veronese, 2001. "A real time coincident indicator of the euro area business cycle," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 436, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  16. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1999. "Forecasting Inflation," NBER Working Papers 7023, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. G. Rünstler & K. Barhoumi & S. Benk & R. Cristadoro & A. Den Reijer & A. Jakaitiene & P. Jelonek & A. Rua & K. Ruth & C. Van Nieuwenhuyze, 2008. "Short-Term Forecasting of GDP Using Large Monthly Datasets: A Pseudo Real-Time Forecast Evaluation Exercise," Bank of Lithuania Working Paper Series 1, Bank of Lithuania.
  18. Filippo Altissimo & Riccardo Cristadoro & Mario Forni & Marco Lippi & Giovanni Veronese, 2007. "New Eurocoin: Tracking Economic Growth in Real Time," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 631, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  19. Altissimo, Filippo & Bassanetti, Antonio & Cristadoro, Riccardo & Forni, Mario & Hallin, Marc & Lippi, Marco & Reichlin, Lucrezia & Veronese, Giovanni, 2001. "EuroCOIN: A Real Time Coincident Indicator of the Euro Area Business Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 3108, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  20. Barhoumi, K. & Brunhes-Lesage, V. & Darné, O. & Ferrara, L. & Pluyaud, B. & Rouvreau, B., 2008. "Monthly forecasting of French GDP: A revised version of the OPTIM model," Working papers 222, Banque de France.
  21. Barhoumi, K. & Darné, O. & Ferrara, L., 2009. "Are disaggregate data useful for factor analysis in forecasting French GDP?," Working papers 232, Banque de France.
  22. Caggiano, Giovanni & Kapetanios, George & Labhard, Vincent, 2009. "Are more data always better for factor analysis? Results for the euro area, the six largest euro area countries and the UK," Working Paper Series 1051, European Central Bank.
  23. Catherine Doz & Domenico Giannone & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2011. "A two-step estimator for large approximate dynamic factor models based on Kalman filtering," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00638009, HAL.
  24. Schumacher, Christian, 2009. "Factor forecasting using international targeted predictors: the case of German GDP," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2009,10, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  25. Hui Zou & Trevor Hastie, 2005. "Addendum: Regularization and variable selection via the elastic net," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series B, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 67(5), pages 768-768.
  26. Stock, James H & Watson, Mark W, 2002. "Macroeconomic Forecasting Using Diffusion Indexes," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(2), pages 147-62, April.
  27. Boivin, Jean & Ng, Serena, 2006. "Are more data always better for factor analysis?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 169-194, May.
  28. Bai, Jushan & Ng, Serena, 2007. "Determining the Number of Primitive Shocks in Factor Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 25, pages 52-60, January.
  29. repec:hal:journl:peer-00844811 is not listed on IDEAS
  30. Harvey, David & Leybourne, Stephen & Newbold, Paul, 1997. "Testing the equality of prediction mean squared errors," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 281-291, June.
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