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Real-time inflation forecasting in a changing world

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  • Groen, J.J.J.
  • Paap, R.

Abstract

This paper revisits inflation forecasting using reduced form Phillips curve forecasts, i.e., inflation forecasts using activity and expectations variables. We propose a Phillips curve-type model that results from averaging across different regression specifications selected from a set of potential predictors. The set of predictors includes lagged values of inflation, a host of real activity data, term structure data, nominal data and surveys. In each of the individual specifications we allow for stochastic breaks in regression parameters, where the breaks are described as occasional shocks of random magnitude. As such, our framework simultaneously addresses structural change and model certainty that unavoidably affects Phillips curve forecasts. We use this framework to describe PCE deflator and GDP deflator inflation rates for the United States across the post-WWII period. Over the full 1960-2008 sample the framework indicates several structural breaks across different combinations of activity measures. These breaks often coincide with, amongst others, policy regime changes and oil price shocks. In contrast to many previous studies, we find less evidence for autonomous variance breaks and inflation gap persistence. Through a \\textit{real-time} out-of-sample forecasting exercise we show that our model specification generally provides superior one-quarter and one-year ahead forecasts for quarterly inflation relative to a whole range of forecasting models that are typically used in the literature.

Suggested Citation

  • Groen, J.J.J. & Paap, R., 2009. "Real-time inflation forecasting in a changing world," Econometric Institute Research Papers EI 2009-19, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Econometric Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:ems:eureir:16709
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Bayesian model averaging; Phillips correlations; inflation forecasting; model uncertainty; real-time data; structural breaks;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C11 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Bayesian Analysis: General
    • 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
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation

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