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Diffusion index-based inflation forecasts for the euro area

  • Angelini, Elena
  • Henry, Jérôme
  • Mestre, Ricardo

Diffusion indexes based on dynamic factors have recently been advocated by Stock and Watson (1998), and further used to perform forecasting tests by the same authors on US data. This technique is explored for the euro area using a multi-country data set and a broad array of variables, in order to test the inflation forecasting performance of extracted factors at the aggregate euro area level. First, a description of factors extracted from different data sets is performed using a number of different approaches. Conclusions reached are that nominal phenomena in the original variables might be well captured in-sample using the factor approach. Out-of-sample tests have more ambiguous interpretation, as factors seem to be good leading indicators of inflation, but the comparative advantage of the factors is less clear. Nevertheless, alternative indicators such as unemployment or money growth do not outperform them JEL Classification: C53, E31, E37

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0061.

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Date of creation: Apr 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20010061
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  1. Thomas J. Sargent & Christopher A. Sims, 1977. "Business cycle modeling without pretending to have too much a priori economic theory," Working Papers 55, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  2. Jushan Bai & Serena Ng, 2000. "Determining the Number of Factors in Approximate Factor Models," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 440, Boston College Department of Economics.
  3. Mario Forni & Lucrezia Reichlin, 1998. "Let's get real: a factor analytical approach to disaggregated business cycle dynamics," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/10147, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  4. Forni, Mario & Lippi, Marco, 2000. "The Generalized Dynamic Factor Model: Representation Theory," CEPR Discussion Papers 2509, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Elena Angelini & Jérôme Henry & Ricardo Mestre, 2001. "A multi-country trend indicator for euro area inflation: computation and properties," BIS Papers chapters, in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Empirical studies of structural changes and inflation, volume 3, pages 81-108 Bank for International Settlements.
  6. Danny Quah & Thomas J. Sargent, 1993. "A Dynamic Index Model for Large Cross Sections," NBER Chapters, in: Business Cycles, Indicators and Forecasting, pages 285-310 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Mario Forni & Marc Hallin & Lucrezia Reichlin & Marco Lippi, 2000. "The generalised dynamic factor model: identification and estimation," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/10143, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  8. Clements,Michael & Hendry,David, 1998. "Forecasting Economic Time Series," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521634809, October.
  9. Ben S. Bernanke & Jean Boivin, 2001. "Monetary Policy in a Data-Rich Environment," NBER Working Papers 8379, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Marcellino, Massimiliano & Stock, James H. & Watson, Mark W., 2003. "Macroeconomic forecasting in the Euro area: Country specific versus area-wide information," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 1-18, February.
  11. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1998. "Diffusion Indexes," NBER Working Papers 6702, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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