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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," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/7724, Sciences Po.
  2. Catherine Doz & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2011. "A two-step estimator for large approximate dynamic factor models based on Kalman filtering," Post-Print hal-00844811, HAL.
  3. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1999. "Forecasting Inflation," NBER Working Papers 7023, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
  5. Elena Angelini & Gonzalo Camba-Mendez & Domenico Giannone & Lucrezia Reichlin & Gerhard Rünstler, 2008. "Short-Term Forecasts of Euro Area GDP Growth," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2008-035, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  6. Pesaran, M.H. & Timmermann, A., 1990. "A Simple Non-Parametric Test Of Predictive Performance," Papers 29, California Los Angeles - Applied Econometrics.
  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. Giovanni Caggiano & George Kapetanios & Vincent Labhard, 2011. "Are more data always better for factor analysis? Results for the euro area, the six largest euro area countries and the UK," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(8), pages 736-752, December.
  9. Jushan Bai & Serena Ng, 2000. "Determining the Number of Factors in Approximate Factor Models," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 440, Boston College Department of Economics.
  10. Barhoumi, K. & Rünstler, G. & Cristadoro, R. & Den Reijer, A. & Jakaitiene, A. & Jelonek, P. & Rua, A. & Ruth, K. & Benk, S. & Van Nieuwenhuyze, C., 2008. "Short-term forecasting of GDP using large monthly datasets: a pseudo real-time forecast evaluation exercise," Working papers 215, Banque de France.
  11. 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.
  12. Boivin, Jean & Ng, Serena, 2006. "Are more data always better for factor analysis?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 169-194, May.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Barhoumi, K. & Darné, O. & Ferrara, L., 2009. "Are disaggregate data useful for factor analysis in forecasting French GDP?," Working papers 232, Banque de France.
  19. Schumacher, Christian, 2010. "Factor forecasting using international targeted predictors: The case of German GDP," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 107(2), pages 95-98, May.
  20. Irac, D. & Sédillot, F., 2002. "Short-Run Assessment of French Economic Activity Using OPTIM," Working papers 88, Banque de France.
  21. Andersson, Magnus & D’Agostino, Antonello, 2008. "Are sectoral stock prices useful for predicting euro area GDP?," Working Paper Series 0876, European Central Bank.
  22. Antonello D'Agostino & Kieran McQuinn & Derry O’Brien, 2012. "Nowcasting Irish GDP," OECD Journal: Journal of Business Cycle Measurement and Analysis, OECD Publishing,Centre for International Research on Economic Tendency Surveys, vol. 2012(2), pages 21-31.
  23. 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.
  24. repec:hal:journl:peer-00844811 is not listed on IDEAS
  25. Bai, Jushan & Ng, Serena, 2008. "Forecasting economic time series using targeted predictors," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 146(2), pages 304-317, October.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
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