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Real-Time Inflation Forecasting in a Changing World

  • Jan J. J. Groen


    (Federal Reserve Bank of New York)

  • Richard Paap


  • Francesco Ravazzolo


    (Norges Bank (Central Bank of Norway))

This paper revisits ination forecasting using reduced form Phillips curve forecasts, i.e., inflation forecasts using activity and expectations variables. We propose a Phillips curve-type model that results from averaging across different regression specifications selected from a set of potential predictors. The set of predictors includes lagged values of inflation, a host of real activity data, term structure data, nominal data and surveys. In each of the individual specifications we allow for stochastic breaks in regression parameters, where the breaks are described as occasional shocks of random magnitude. As such, our framework simultaneously addresses structural change and model certainty that unavoidably affects Phillips curve forecasts. We use this framework to describe PCE deflator and GDP deflator inflation rates for the United States across the post-WWII period. Over the full 1960-2008 sample the framework indicates several structural breaks across different combinations of activity measures. These breaks often coincide with, amongst others, policy regime changes and oil price shocks. In contrast to many previous studies, we find less evidence for autonomous variance breaks and inflation gap persistence. Through a real-time out-of-sample forecasting exercise we show that our model specification generally provides superior one-quarter and one-year ahead forecasts for quarterly inflation relative to a whole range of forecasting models that are typically used in the literature.

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Paper provided by Norges Bank in its series Working Paper with number 2009/16.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: 01 Aug 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bno:worpap:2009_16
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  2. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 2005. "Nominal Rigidities and the Dynamic Effects of a Shock to Monetary Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 1-45, February.
  3. Estrella, Arturo & Hardouvelis, Gikas A, 1991. " The Term Structure as a Predictor of Real Economic Activity," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(2), pages 555-76, June.
  4. Pesaran, M Hashem & Pettenuzzo, Davide & Timmermann, Allan G, 2004. "Forecasting Time Series Subject to Multiple Structural Breaks," CEPR Discussion Papers 4636, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Jonathan H. Wright, 2003. "Forecasting U.S. inflation by Bayesian Model Averaging," International Finance Discussion Papers 780, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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  10. Haldane, Andrew & Quah, Danny, 1999. "UK Phillips curves and monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 259-278, October.
  11. De Mol, Christine & Giannone, Domenico & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 2006. "Forecasting Using a Large Number of Predictors: Is Bayesian Regression a Valid Alternative to Principal Components?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5829, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2007. "Why Has U.S. Inflation Become Harder to Forecast?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(s1), pages 3-33, 02.
  13. Todd E. Clark & Michael W. McCracken, 2007. "Averaging forecasts from VARs with uncertain instabilities," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2007-42, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  14. Sbordone, Argia, 1998. "Prices and Unit Labor Costs: A New Test of Price Stickiness," Seminar Papers 653, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
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  16. Gordon, Robert J, 1996. "The Time-varying NAIRU and its Implications for Economic Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 1492, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Groen, Jan J J & Mumtaz, Haroon, 2008. "Investigating the structural stability of the Phillips curve relationship," Bank of England working papers 350, Bank of England.
  18. Andrew Levin & Jeremy Piger, 2003. "Is Inflation Persistence Intrinsic in Industrial Economies?," Computing in Economics and Finance 2003 298, Society for Computational Economics.
  19. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1999. "Forecasting Inflation," NBER Working Papers 7023, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  22. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2007. "Erratum to "Why Has U.S. Inflation Become Harder to Forecast?"," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(7), pages 1849-1849, October.
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  24. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 2000. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(1), pages 147-180.
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  28. repec:oup:restud:v:74:y:2007:i:3:p:763-789 is not listed on IDEAS
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