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Forecasting Quarter-on-Quarter Changes of German GDP with Monthly Business Tendency Survey Results


  • Klaus Abberger


Results from business tendency surveys are often used to construct leading indicators. The indicators are then, for example, employed to forecast GDP growth. In this article more detailed results of business tendency surveys are used to forecast quarter-onquarter GDP growth. The target series is very challenging because this type of growth rate leads to quite volatile time series. The present study focuses on German GDP data and survey results provided by the Ifo Institute. Since numerous time series of possible indicators result from the surveys, methods that can handle this setting are applied. One candidate method is principal component analysis, which is used to reduce dimensionality. On the other hand, subset selection procedures are applied. For the present setting the latter method seems more successful than principal components. But this is not a statement about the two types of procedures in general. Which method should be favoured depends very much on the aims of the specific study.

Suggested Citation

  • Klaus Abberger, 2007. "Forecasting Quarter-on-Quarter Changes of German GDP with Monthly Business Tendency Survey Results," ifo Working Paper Series 40, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ifowps:_40

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    1. repec:crs:wpaper:9313 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Entorf, Horst, 1993. "Constructing leading indicators from non-balanced sectoral business survey series," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 211-225, August.
    3. Klaus Abberger & Klaus Wohlrabe, 2006. "Einige Prognoseeigenschaften des ifo Geschäftsklimas - Ein Überblick über die neuere wissenschaftliche Literatur," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 59(22), pages 19-26, November.
    4. Baffigi, Alberto & Golinelli, Roberto & Parigi, Giuseppe, 2004. "Bridge models to forecast the euro area GDP," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 447-460.
    5. Stock, James H. & Watson, Mark W., 2006. "Forecasting with Many Predictors," Handbook of Economic Forecasting, Elsevier.
    6. Rünstler, Gerhard & Sédillot, Franck, 2003. "Short-term estimates of euro area real GDP by means of monthly data," Working Paper Series 276, European Central Bank.
    7. Stock J.H. & Watson M.W., 2002. "Forecasting Using Principal Components From a Large Number of Predictors," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 97, pages 1167-1179, December.
    8. Bair, Eric & Hastie, Trevor & Paul, Debashis & Tibshirani, Robert, 2006. "Prediction by Supervised Principal Components," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 101, pages 119-137, March.
    9. Stefan Mittnik & Peter A. Zadrozny, 2004. "Forecasting Quarterly German GDP at Monthly Intervals Using Monthly IFO Business Conditions Data," CESifo Working Paper Series 1203, CESifo Group Munich.
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    Cited by:

    1. Klaus Abberger & Sascha Becker & Barbara Hofmann & Klaus Wohlrabe, 2007. "Mikrodaten im ifo Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung – Bestand, Verwendung und Zugang," AStA Wirtschafts- und Sozialstatistisches Archiv, Springer;Deutsche Statistische Gesellschaft - German Statistical Society, vol. 1(1), pages 27-42, June.
    2. repec:spr:jbuscr:v:12:y:2016:i:1:d:10.1007_s41549-016-0002-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Antipa, Pamfili & Barhoumi, Karim & Brunhes-Lesage, Véronique & Darné, Olivier, 2012. "Nowcasting German GDP: A comparison of bridge and factor models," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 864-878.
    4. António Brandão Moniz, 2008. "Assessing scenarios on the future of work," Enterprise and Work Innovation Studies, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, IET/CICS.NOVA-Interdisciplinary Centre on Social Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, vol. 4(4), pages 91-106, November.
    5. Sascha O. Becker & Klaus Wohlrabe, 2008. "European Data Watch: Micro Data at the Ifo Institute for Economic Research – The “Ifo Business Survey”, Usage and Access," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 128(2), pages 307-319.
    6. Kholodilin, Konstantin & Kolmer, Christian & Thomas, Tobias & Ulbricht, Dirk, 2015. "Asymmetric perceptions of the economy: Media, firms, consumers, and experts," DICE Discussion Papers 188, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    7. Vermeulen, Philip, 2014. "An evaluation of business survey indices for short-term forecasting: Balance method versus Carlson–Parkin method," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 882-897.
    8. Robert Lehmann & Antje Weyh, 2016. "Forecasting Employment in Europe: Are Survey Results Helpful?," Journal of Business Cycle Research, Springer;Centre for International Research on Economic Tendency Surveys (CIRET), vol. 12(1), pages 81-117, September.
    9. Boriss Siliverstovs, 2010. "Assessing Predictive Content of the KOF Barometer in Real Time," KOF Working papers 10-249, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    10. Boriss Siliverstovs, 2013. "Do business tendency surveys help in forecasting employment?: A real-time evidence for Switzerland," OECD Journal: Journal of Business Cycle Measurement and Analysis, OECD Publishing, Centre for International Research on Economic Tendency Surveys, vol. 2013(2), pages 129-151.

    More about this item


    Business tendency surveys; business cycle analysis; principal component regression; subset selection.;

    JEL classification:

    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes
    • C42 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Survey Methods
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles


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