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The value of hard and soft data for short-term forecasting of GDP

Author

Listed:
  • Keeney, Mary

    (Central Bank of Ireland)

  • Kennedy, Bernard

    (Central Bank of Ireland)

  • Liebermann, Joelle

    (Central Bank of Ireland)

Abstract

When monitoring and assessing the state of the economy in real time, policymakers face the problem that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is released with a lag. For the euro area, the first estimate of GDP for a reference quarter is only released six weeks after the close of the quarter. In the interim period, one can use monthly conjunctural indicators to obtain a more timely estimate of GDP. These indicators include hard data, such as industrial production, and soft data such as PMI surveys. However, the hard data for a reference month are only released with a one or two month lag, whereas the soft data are released at the end of the reference month. Hence, one faces a potential trade-off between reliability and timeliness of information. This letter illustrates the value of soft and hard data for computing an early GDP estimate by running a pseudo real-time forecasting exercise.

Suggested Citation

  • Keeney, Mary & Kennedy, Bernard & Liebermann, Joelle, 2012. "The value of hard and soft data for short-term forecasting of GDP," Economic Letters 11/EL/12, Central Bank of Ireland.
  • Handle: RePEc:cbi:ecolet:11/el/12
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    File URL: https://centralbank.ie/docs/default-source/publications/economic-letters/economic-letter---vol-2012-no-11.pdf?sfvrsn=10
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Roberto S. Mariano & Yasutomo Murasawa, 2003. "A new coincident index of business cycles based on monthly and quarterly series," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(4), pages 427-443.
    2. Liebermann, Joëlle, 2012. "Short-term forecasting of quarterly gross domestic product growth," Quarterly Bulletin Articles, Central Bank of Ireland, pages 74-84, February.
    3. Banbura, Marta & Rünstler, Gerhard, 2011. "A look into the factor model black box: Publication lags and the role of hard and soft data in forecasting GDP," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 333-346, April.
    4. Bańbura, Marta & Giannone, Domenico & Modugno, Michele & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 2013. "Now-Casting and the Real-Time Data Flow," Handbook of Economic Forecasting, Elsevier.
    5. Lombardi, Marco J. & Maier, Philipp, 2011. "Forecasting economic growth in the euro area during the Great Moderation and the Great Recession," Working Paper Series 1379, European Central Bank.
    6. Domenico Giannone & Lucrezia Reichlin & Saverio Simonelli, 2009. "Nowcasting Euro Area Economic Activity In Real Time: The Role Of Confidence Indicators," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 210(1), pages 90-97, October.
    7. Claudia Godbout & Jocelyn Jacob, 2010. "Le pouvoir de prévision des indices PMI," Discussion Papers 10-3, Bank of Canada.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:intfor:v:33:y:2017:i:4:p:878-893 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Kaufmann, Daniel & Scheufele, Rolf, 2017. "Business tendency surveys and macroeconomic fluctuations," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 878-893.

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