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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. 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.
  2. D'Agostino, Antonello & McQuinn, Kieran & O'Brien, Derry, 2011. "Nowcasting Irish GDP," MPRA Paper 32941, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Christian Schumacher, 2007. "Forecasting German GDP using alternative factor models based on large datasets," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(4), pages 271-302.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Giannone, Domenico & Reichlin, Lucrezia & Small, David, 2005. "Nowcasting GDP and Inflation: The Real Time Informational Content of Macroeconomic Data Releases," CEPR Discussion Papers 5178, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Jushan Bai & Serena Ng, 2002. "Determining the Number of Factors in Approximate Factor Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(1), pages 191-221, January.
  14. Marie Diron, 2008. "Short-term forecasts of euro area real GDP growth: an assessment of real-time performance based on vintage data," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(5), pages 371-390.
  15. Karim Barhoumi & Olivier Darné & Laurent Ferrara, 2010. "Are disaggregate data useful for factor analysis in forecasting French GDP?," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(1-2), pages 132-144.
  16. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1999. "Forecasting Inflation," NBER Working Papers 7023, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Altissimo, Filippo & Cristadoro, Riccardo & Forni, Mario & Lippi, Marco & Veronese, Giovanni, 2006. "New EuroCOIN: Tracking Economic Growth in Real Time," CEPR Discussion Papers 5633, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Karim Barhoumi & Szilard Benk & Riccardo Cristadoro & Ard Den Reijer & Audrone Jakaitiene & Piotr Jelonek & António Rua & Gerhard Rünstler & Karsten Ruth & Christophe Van Nieuwenhuyze, 2008. "Short-term forecasting of GDP using large monthly datasets - a pseudo real-time forecast evaluation exercise," Occasional Paper Series 84, European Central Bank.
  19. 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.
  20. Jean Boivin & Serena Ng, 2003. "Are More Data Always Better for Factor Analysis?," NBER Working Papers 9829, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. repec:hal:journl:peer-00844811 is not listed on IDEAS
  26. 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.
  27. Irac, D. & Sédillot, F., 2002. "Short-Run Assessment of French Economic Activity Using OPTIM," Working papers 88, Banque de France.
  28. 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.
  29. Bai, Jushan & Ng, Serena, 2008. "Forecasting economic time series using targeted predictors," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 146(2), pages 304-317, October.
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