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Forecasting inflation: An art as well as a science!

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  • P.J.G. Vlaar
  • A.H.J. den Reijer

Abstract

In this study we build two forecasting models to predict inflation for the Netherlands and for the euro area. Inflation is the yearly change of the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP). The models provide point forecasts and prediction intervals for both the components of the HICP and the aggregated HICP-index itself. Both models are small-scale linear time series models allowing for long run equilibrium relationships between HICP components and other variables, notably the hourly wage rate and the import or producer prices. The model for the Netherlands is used to generate the Dutch inflation projections over an horizon of 11-15 months ahead for the eurosystem's Narrow Inflation Projection Exercise (NIPE). The recursive forecast errors for several forecast horizons are evaluated for all models, and are found to outperform a naive forecast. Moreover, the same result holds for the Dutch NIPE projections, which have been provided quarterly since 1999. The direct and aggregation methods to predict total HICP inflation perform about equally good.

Suggested Citation

  • P.J.G. Vlaar & A.H.J. den Reijer, 2003. "Forecasting inflation: An art as well as a science!," DNB Staff Reports (discontinued) 107, Netherlands Central Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:dnb:staffs:107
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Thiago Carlomagno Carlo & Emerson Fernandes Marçal, 2016. "Forecasting Brazilian inflation by its aggregate and disaggregated data: a test of predictive power by forecast horizon," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(50), pages 4846-4860, October.
    2. Espasa, Antoni & Albacete, Rebeca, 2005. "Forecasting inflation in the euro area using monthly time series models and quarterly econometric models," DES - Working Papers. Statistics and Econometrics. WS ws050401, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Estadística.
    3. Hendry, David F. & Hubrich, Kirstin, 2011. "Combining Disaggregate Forecasts or Combining Disaggregate Information to Forecast an Aggregate," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 29(2), pages 216-227.
    4. O. De Bandt & E. Michaux & C. Bruneau & A. Flageollet, 2007. "Forecasting inflation using economic indicators: the case of France," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(1), pages 1-22.
    5. Janine Aron & John Muellbauer, 2008. "New methods for forecasting inflation and its sub-components: application to the USA," Economics Series Working Papers 406, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    6. Mihaela SIMIONESCU, 2014. "Improving The Inflation Rate Forecasts Of Romanian Experts Using A Fixed-Effects Models Approach," Review of Economic and Business Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, issue 13, pages 87-102, June.
    7. Roma, Moreno & Skudelny, Frauke & Benalal, Nicholai & Diaz del Hoyo, Juan Luis & Landau, Bettina, 2004. "To aggregate or not to aggregate? Euro area inflation forecasting," Working Paper Series 374, European Central Bank.
    8. Duarte, Claudia & Rua, Antonio, 2007. "Forecasting inflation through a bottom-up approach: How bottom is bottom?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 941-953, November.
    9. Aron, Janine & Muellbauer, John, 2012. "Improving forecasting in an emerging economy, South Africa: Changing trends, long run restrictions and disaggregation," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 456-476.
    10. Demertzis, Maria & Hughes Hallett, Andrew, 2005. "Forming Rational Expectations and When it is Right to be 'Wrong'," CEPR Discussion Papers 5042, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Aron, Janine & Muellbauer, John, 2010. "Does aggregating forecasts by CPI component improve inflation forecast accuracy in South Africa?," CEPR Discussion Papers 7895, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Julius Stakenas, 2015. "Forecasting Lithuanian Inflation," Bank of Lithuania Working Paper Series 17, Bank of Lithuania.
    13. Demertzis, Maria & Hughes Hallett, Andrew, 2008. "Asymmetric information and rational expectations: When is it right to be "wrong"?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(8), pages 1407-1419, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    inflation; model selection; time series models;

    JEL classification:

    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • C43 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Index Numbers and Aggregation
    • C52 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Evaluation, Validation, and Selection
    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods

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