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Forecasting macroeconomic variables for the new member states of the European Union

  • Banerjee, Anindya
  • Marcellino, Massimiliano
  • Masten, Igor

The accession of ten countries into the European Union makes the forecasting of their key macroeconomic indicators an exercise of some importance. Because of the transition period, only short spans of reliable time series are available, suggesting the adoption of simple time series models as forecasting tools. However, despite this constraint on the span of data, a large number of macroeconomic variables (for a given time span) are available, making the class of dynamic factor models a reasonable alternative forecasting tool. The relative performance of these two forecasting approaches is compared by using data for five new Member States. The role of Euro-area information for forecasting and the usefulness of robustifying techniques such as intercept corrections are also evaluated. We find that factor models work well in general, although with marked differences across countries. Robustifying techniques are useful in a few cases, while Euro-area information is virtually irrelevant. JEL Classification: C53, C32, E37

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0482.

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Date of creation: May 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20050482
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  1. 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.
  2. Fagan, Gabriel & Henry, Jérôme & Mestre, Ricardo, 2001. "An area-wide model (AWM) for the euro area," Working Paper Series 0042, European Central Bank.
  3. 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.
  4. Michael P. Clements & David F. Hendry, 2001. "Forecasting Non-Stationary Economic Time Series," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262531895, June.
  5. Bernanke, Ben S. & Boivin, Jean, 2003. "Monetary policy in a data-rich environment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 525-546, April.
  6. 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.
  7. Artis, Michael J & Marcellino, Massimiliano, 1999. "Fiscal Forecasting: the Track Record of the IMF, OECD, and EC," CEPR Discussion Papers 2206, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Michael Artis & Massimiliano Marcellino & Tommaso Proietti, 2004. "Characterising the Business Cycle for Accession Countries," Econometrics 0403006, EconWPA.
  9. Angelini, Elena & Henry, Jérôme & Marcellino, Massimiliano, 2003. "Interpolation and backdating with a large information set," Working Paper Series 0252, European Central Bank.
  10. Marcellino, Massimiliano, 2000. " Forecast Bias and MSFE Encompassing," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 62(4), pages 533-42, September.
  11. Zsolt Darvas & György Szapáry, 2004. "Business Cycle Synchronisation in the Enlarged EU: Comovements in the New and Old Members," MNB Working Papers 2004/1, Magyar Nemzeti Bank (the central bank of Hungary).
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