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Forecasting Economic and Financial Variables with Global VARs

  • Pesaran, M.H.
  • Schuermann, T.
  • Smit, L.V.

This paper considers the problem of forecasting real and financial macroeconomic variables across a large number of countries in the global economy. To this end a global vector autoregressive (GVAR) model previously estimated over the 1979Q1-2003Q4 period by Dees, de Mauro, Pesaran, and Smith (2007), is used to generate out-of-sample one quarter and four quarters ahead forecasts of real output, inflation, real equity prices, exchange rates and interest rates over the period 2004Q1-2005Q4. Forecasts are obtained for 134 variables from 26 regions made up of 33 countries covering about 90% of world output. The forecasts are compared to typical benchmarks: univariate autoregressive and random walk models. Building on the forecast combination literature, the effects of model and estimation uncertainty on forecast outcomes are examined by pooling forecasts obtained from different GVAR models estimated over alternative sample periods. Given the size of the modeling problem, and the heterogeneity of economies considered — industrialised, emerging, and less developed countries — as well as the very real likelihood of possibly multiple structural breaks, averaging forecasts across both models and windows makes a significant difference. Indeed the double-averaged GVAR forecasts performed better than the benchmark competitors, especially for output, inflation and real equity prices.

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Paper provided by Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge in its series Cambridge Working Papers in Economics with number 0807.

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Length: 24
Date of creation: Jan 2008
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Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:0807
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  1. Francis X. Diebold & Robert S. Mariano, 1994. "Comparing Predictive Accuracy," NBER Technical Working Papers 0169, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Mackinnon, J.G. & Haug, A.A. & Michelis, L., 1996. "Numerical Distribution Functions of Likelihood Ratio Tests for Cointegration," G.R.E.Q.A.M. 96a09, Universite Aix-Marseille III.
  3. Timmermann, Allan G, 2005. "Forecast Combinations," CEPR Discussion Papers 5361, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Dées, Stéphane & Holly, Sean & Pesaran, Hashem & Smith, Vanessa, 2007. "Long run macroeconomic relations in the global economy," Working Paper Series 0750, European Central Bank.
  5. Filippo di Mauro & L. Vanessa Smith & Stephane Dees & M. Hashem Pesaran, 2007. "Exploring the international linkages of the euro area: a global VAR analysis," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(1), pages 1-38.
  6. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2006. "Why Has U.S. Inflation Become Harder to Forecast?," NBER Working Papers 12324, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Alexander Chudik & M. Hashem Pesaran & Elisa Tosetti, 2011. "Weak and strong cross‐section dependence and estimation of large panels," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 14, pages C45-C90, 02.
  8. Stock, James H & Watson, Mark W, 1996. "Evidence on Structural Instability in Macroeconomic Time Series Relations," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 14(1), pages 11-30, January.
  9. Arturo Estrella & Frederic S. Mishkin, 1996. "Predicting U.S. recessions: financial variables as leading indicators," Research Paper 9609, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  10. Diebold, Francis X. & Rudebusch, Glenn D. & Borag[caron]an Aruoba, S., 2006. "The macroeconomy and the yield curve: a dynamic latent factor approach," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 131(1-2), pages 309-338.
  11. M. Hashem Pesaran & Til Schuermann & Scott M. Weiner, 2001. "Modelling regional interdependencies using a global error-correcting macroeconometric model," 10th International Conference on Panel Data, Berlin, July 5-6, 2002 B4-1, International Conferences on Panel Data.
  12. Pesaran, M. H. & Shin, Y. & Smith, R. J., 1997. "Structural Analysis of Vector Error Correction Models with Exogenous I(1) Variables," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9706, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  13. Garcia, R. & Perron, P., 1994. "An Analysis of the Real Interest rate Under Regime Shifts," Cahiers de recherche 9428, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
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  15. Katrin Assenmacher-Wesche & M. Hashem Pesaran, 2008. "Forecasting the Swiss Economy Using Vecx* Models: an Exercise in Forecast Combination Across Models and Observation Windows," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 203(1), pages 91-108, January.
  16. Pesaran, M.H. & Pick, A., 2008. "Forecasting Random Walks Under Drift Instability," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0814, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  17. Chudik, Alexander & Pesaran, M. Hashem, 2007. "Infinite Dimensional VARs and Factor Models," IZA Discussion Papers 3206, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  18. Favero, Carlo A. & Kaminska, Iryna & Söderström, Ulf, 2005. "The Predictive Power of the Yield Spread: Further Evidence and A Structural Interpretation," CEPR Discussion Papers 4910, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Alogoskoufis, George & Smith, Ron, 1991. " On Error Correction Models: Specification, Interpretation, Estimation," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(1), pages 97-128.
  20. Schorfheide, Frank, 2000. "Forecasting Economic Time Series," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(03), pages 441-450, June.
  21. James D. Hamilton & Dong Heon Kim, 2000. "A Re-examination of the Predictability of Economic Activity Using the Yield Spread," NBER Working Papers 7954, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Clements,Michael & Hendry,David, 1998. "Forecasting Economic Time Series," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521632423.
  23. Andrew Atkeson & Lee E. Ohanian, 2001. "Are Phillips curves useful for forecasting inflation?," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 2-11.
  24. 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.
  25. Pesaran, M. Hashem & Timmermann, Allan, 2007. "Selection of estimation window in the presence of breaks," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 137(1), pages 134-161, March.
  26. Clements, Michael P. & Hendry, David F., 2006. "Forecasting with Breaks," Handbook of Economic Forecasting, Elsevier.
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