Financial variables as leading indicators of GDP growth: Evidence from a MIDAS approach during the Great Recession
The global economic recession, referred to as the Great Recession, endured by the main industrialized countries during the period 2008-09, in the wake of the financial and banking crisis, has pointed out the current importance of the financial sector in macroeconomics. In this paper, we evaluate the predictive power of some major financial variables to anticipate GDP growth in euro area countries during this specific period of time. In this respect, we implement a MIDAS-based modeling approach, put forward by Ghysels et al. (2007), that enables to forecast quarterly GDP growth rates using exogenous variables sampled at higher frequencies. Empirical results show that, overall, stock prices help to improve the accuracy of GDP forecasts by comparison with a standard opinion survey variable, while oil prices and term spread appear to be less informative.
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