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Flow of conjunctural information and forecast of euro area economic activity


  • Maurin, Laurent
  • Drechsel, Katja


Euro area GDP and components are now-cast and forecast one quarter ahead. Based on a dataset of 163 series comprising the relevant monthly indicators, simple bridge equations with one explanatory variable are estimated for each. The individual forecasts generated by each equation are then pooled, using six weighting schemes including Bayesian ones. To take into consideration the release calendar of each indicator, six forecasts are compiled independently during the quarter, each based on different information sets: different indicators, different individual equations and finally different weights to aggregate information. The information content of the various blocks of information at different points in time for each GDP component is then discussed. It appears that taking into account the information flow results in significant changes in the weight allocated to each block of information, especially when the first month of hard data becomes available. This conclusion, reached for all the components and most of the weighting scheme, supports and extends the findings of Giannone, Reichlin and Small (2006) and Banbura and R JEL Classification: C22, C53, E17

Suggested Citation

  • Maurin, Laurent & Drechsel, Katja, 2008. "Flow of conjunctural information and forecast of euro area economic activity," Working Paper Series 925, European Central Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:2008925

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gary Koop & Simon M. Potter, 2003. "Forecasting in large macroeconomic panels using Bayesian Model Averaging," Staff Reports 163, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    2. Giannone, Domenico & Reichlin, Lucrezia & Small, David, 2008. "Nowcasting: The real-time informational content of macroeconomic data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 665-676, May.
    3. Banbura, Marta & Rünstler, Gerhard, 2011. "A look into the factor model black box: Publication lags and the role of hard and soft data in forecasting GDP," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 333-346, April.
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    7. Kitchen, John & Monaco, Ralph, 2003. "Real-Time Forecasting in Practice: The U.S. Treasury Staff's Real-Time GDP Forecast System," MPRA Paper 21068, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Oct 2003.
    8. David F. Hendry & Michael P. Clements, 2004. "Pooling of forecasts," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 7(1), pages 1-31, June.
    9. Darracq Pariès, Matthieu & Maurin, Laurent, 2008. "The role of country-specific trade and survey data in forecasting euro area manufacturing production: perspective from large panel factor models," Working Paper Series 894, European Central Bank.
    10. Kapetanios, George & Labhard, Vincent & Price, Simon, 2008. "Forecasting Using Bayesian and Information-Theoretic Model Averaging: An Application to U.K. Inflation," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 26, pages 33-41, January.
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    12. Stock, James H. & Watson, Mark W., 2006. "Forecasting with Many Predictors," Handbook of Economic Forecasting, Elsevier.
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    15. 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.
    16. Giannone, Domenico & Reichlin, Lucrezia & Small, David, 2005. "Nowcasting GDP and Inflation: The Real Time Informational Content of Macroeconomic Data Releases," CEPR Discussion Papers 5178, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    Cited by:

    1. Katja Drechsel & Rolf Scheufele, 2012. "Bottom-up or Direct? Forecasting German GDP in a Data-rich Environment," Working Papers 2012-16, Swiss National Bank.
    2. Laura D’Amato & Lorena Garegnani & Emilio Blanco, 2011. "Using the Flow of High Frequency Information for Short Term Forecasting of Economic Activity in Argentina," Ensayos Económicos, Central Bank of Argentina, Economic Research Department, vol. 1(64), pages 7-33, October -.
    3. Marie Bessec, 2010. "Étalonnages du taux de croissance du PIB français sur la base des enquêtes de conjoncture," Économie et Prévision, Programme National Persée, vol. 193(2), pages 77-99.
    4. Laura D'Amato & Lorena Garegnani & Emilio Blanco, 2016. "GDP Nowcasting: Assessing the Cyclical Conditions of the Argentine Economy," Ensayos Económicos, Central Bank of Argentina, Economic Research Department, vol. 1(74), pages 7-26, December.
    5. Drechsel, Katja & Giesen, Sebastian & Lindner, Axel, 2014. "Outperforming IMF Forecasts by the Use of Leading Indicators," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100393, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    6. Laura D´Amato & Lorena Garegnani & Emilio Blanco, 2015. "GDP Nowcasting: Assessing business cycle conditions in Argentina," BCRA Working Paper Series 201569, Central Bank of Argentina, Economic Research Department.

    More about this item


    forecast pooling; GDP components; large dataset; weighting scheme;

    JEL classification:

    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes
    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods
    • E17 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications


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