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Nowcasting

  • Bańbura, Marta
  • Giannone, Domenico
  • Reichlin, Lucrezia

We define nowcasting as the prediction of the present, the very near future and the very recent past. Crucial in this process is to use timely monthly information in order to nowcast key economic variables, such as e.g. GDP, that are typically collected at low frequency and published with long delays. Until recently, nowcasting had received very little attention by the academic literature, although it was routinely conducted in policy institutions either through a judgemental process or on the basis of simple models. We argue that the nowcasting process goes beyond the simple production of an early estimate as it essentially requires the assessment of the impact of new data on the subsequent forecast revisions for the target variable. We design a statistical model which produces a sequence of nowcasts in relation to the real time releases of various economic data. The methodology allows to process a large amount of information, as it is traditionally done by practitioners using judgement, but it does it in a fully automatic way. In particular, it provides an explicit link between the news in consecutive data releases and the resulting forecast revisions. To illustrate our ideas, we study the nowcast of euro area GDP in the fourth quarter of 2008. JEL Classification: E52, C53, C33

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 1275.

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Date of creation: Dec 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20101275
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  1. Giannone, Domenico & Reichlin, Lucrezia & Small, David H., 2006. "Nowcasting GDP and inflation: the real-time informational content of macroeconomic data releases," Working Paper Series 0633, European Central Bank.
  2. Barhoumi, K. & Rünstler, G. & Cristadoro, R. & Den Reijer, A. & Jakaitiene, A. & Jelonek, P. & Rua, A. & Ruth, K. & Benk, S. & Van Nieuwenhuyze, C., 2008. "Short-term forecasting of GDP using large monthly datasets: a pseudo real-time forecast evaluation exercise," Working papers 215, Banque de France.
  3. Antonello D'Agostino & Kieran McQuinn & Derry O’Brien, 2012. "Nowcasting Irish GDP," OECD Journal: Journal of Business Cycle Measurement and Analysis, OECD Publishing,Centre for International Research on Economic Tendency Surveys, vol. 2012(2), pages 21-31.
  4. Marcellino, Massimiliano & Schumacher, Christian, 2007. "Factor-MIDAS for now- and forecasting with ragged-edge data: a model comparison for German GDP," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2007,34, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  5. Elena Angelini & Gonzalo Camba-Mendez & Domenico Giannone & Lucrezia Reichlin & Gerhard Rünstler, 2008. "Short-Term Forecasts of Euro Area GDP Growth," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2008-035, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  6. Banbura, Marta & Rünstler, Gerhard, 2007. "A look into the factor model black box: publication lags and the role of hard and soft data in forecasting GDP," Working Paper Series 0751, European Central Bank.
  7. Schumacher, Christian & Breitung, Jörg, 2008. "Real-time forecasting of German GDP based on a large factor model with monthly and quarterly data," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 386-398.
  8. Camacho, Maximo & Pérez-Quirós, Gabriel, 2009. "Introducing the Euro-STING: Short-Term Indicator of Euro Area Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 7343, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Filippo Altissimo & Riccardo Cristadoro & Mario Forni & Marco Lippi & Giovanni Veronese, 2010. "New Eurocoin: Tracking Economic Growth in Real Time," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 1024-1034, November.
  10. Chiara Scotti & S.Boragan Aruoba & Francis X. Diebold & University of Maryland, 2006. "Real-Time Measurement of Business Conditions," Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 387, Society for Computational Economics.
  11. Catherine Doz & Domenico Giannone & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2012. "A Quasi–Maximum Likelihood Approach for Large, Approximate Dynamic Factor Models," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(4), pages 1014-1024, November.
  12. Mario Forni & Marc Hallin & Marco Lippi & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2000. "The Generalized Dynamic-Factor Model: Identification And Estimation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(4), pages 540-554, November.
  13. Proietti, Tommaso, 2008. "Estimation of Common Factors under Cross-Sectional and Temporal Aggregation Constraints: Nowcasting Monthly GDP and its Main Components," MPRA Paper 6860, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  14. Matheson, Troy D., 2010. "An analysis of the informational content of New Zealand data releases: The importance of business opinion surveys," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 304-314, January.
  15. Ghysels, Eric & Santa-Clara, Pedro & Valkanov, Rossen, 2004. "The MIDAS Touch: Mixed Data Sampling Regression Models," University of California at Los Angeles, Anderson Graduate School of Management qt9mf223rs, Anderson Graduate School of Management, UCLA.
  16. Domenico Giannone & Martha Banbura & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2008. "Bayesian VARs with large panels," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/13388, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  17. Marta Bańbura, 2008. "Large Bayesian VARs," 2008 Meeting Papers 334, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  18. Bańbura, Marta & Modugno, Michele, 2010. "Maximum likelihood estimation of factor models on data sets with arbitrary pattern of missing data," Working Paper Series 1189, European Central Bank.
  19. Knut Are Aastveit & Tørres G. Trovik, 2008. "Nowcasting Norwegian GDP: The role of asset prices in a small open economy," Working Paper 2007/09, Norges Bank.
  20. Mario Forno & Marco Lippi & Lucrezia Reichlin & Filippo Altissimo & Antonio Bassanetti, 2003. "Eurocoin: A Real Time Coincident Indicator Of The Euro Area Business Cycle," Computing in Economics and Finance 2003 242, Society for Computational Economics.
  21. Filippo Altissimo & Antonio Bassanetti & Riccardo Cristadoro & Mario Forni & Marco Lippi & Lucrezia Reichlin & Giovanni Veronese, 2001. "A real time coincident indicator of the euro area business cycle," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 436, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  22. Domenico Giannone & Lucrezia Reichlin & Saverio Simonelli, 2009. "Nowcasting Euro Area Economic Activity In Real Time: The Role Of Confidence Indicators," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 210(1), pages 90-97, October.
  23. Marie Diron, 2008. "Short-term forecasts of euro area real GDP growth: an assessment of real-time performance based on vintage data," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(5), pages 371-390.
  24. Roberto S. Mariano & Yasutomo Murasawa, 2003. "A new coincident index of business cycles based on monthly and quarterly series," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(4), pages 427-443.
  25. Durbin, James & Koopman, Siem Jan, 2001. "Time Series Analysis by State Space Methods," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198523543, December.
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