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Nowcasting GDP and inflation: the real-time informational content of macroeconomic data releases

  • Domenico Giannone
  • Lucrezia Reichlin
  • David Small

This paper formalizes the process of updating the nowcast and forecast on output and inflation as new releases of data become available. The marginal contribution of a particular release for the value of the signal and its precision is evaluated by computing "news" on the basis of an evolving conditioning information set. The marginal contribution is then split into what is due to timeliness of information and what is due to economic content. We find that the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia surveys have a large marginal impact on the nowcast of both inflation variables and real variables, and this effect is larger than that of the Employment Report. When we control for timeliness of the releases, the effect of hard data becomes sizeable. Prices and quantities affect the precision of the estimates of inflation, while GDP is affected only by real variables and interest rates.

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Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2005-42.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2005-42
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  1. Jean Boivin & Serena Ng, 2003. "Are More Data Always Better for Factor Analysis?," NBER Working Papers 9829, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Jushan Bai & Serena Ng, 2002. "Determining the Number of Factors in Approximate Factor Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(1), pages 191-221, January.
  3. Tom Stark & Dean Croushore, 2001. "Forecasting with a real-time data set for macroeconomists," Working Papers 01-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  4. 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.
  5. Danny Quah & Thomas J. Sargent, 1992. "A dynamic index model for large cross sections," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 77, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  6. Domenico Giannone & Lucrezia Reichlin & Luca Sala, 2005. "Monetary Policy in Real Time," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2004, Volume 19, pages 161-224 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Ben S. Bernanke & Jean Boivin, 2001. "Monetary Policy in a Data-Rich Environment," NBER Working Papers 8379, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Mario Forni & Domenico Giannone & Marco Lippi & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2007. "Opening the Black Box: Structural Factor Models with Large Cross-Sections," Center for Economic Research (RECent) 008, University of Modena and Reggio E., Dept. of Economics "Marco Biagi".
  9. D'Agostino, Antonello & Giannone, Domenico, 2007. "Comparing Alternative Predictors Based on Large-Panel Factor Models," CEPR Discussion Papers 6564, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  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. Catherine Doz & Domenico Giannone & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2006. "A Two-step estimator for large approximate dynamic factor models based on Kalman filtering," THEMA Working Papers 2006-23, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
  12. Forni, Mario & Hallin, Marc & Lippi, Marco & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 2002. "The Generalized Dynamic Factor Model: One-Sided Estimation and Forecasting," CEPR Discussion Papers 3432, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Forni, Mario & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 2001. "Federal policies and local economies: Europe and the US," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 109-134, January.
  14. Evans, Martin D.D., 2005. "Where Are We Now? Real-Time Estimates of the Macro Economy," CEPR Discussion Papers 5270, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. D'Agostino, Antonello & Giannone, Domenico & Surico, Paolo, 2007. "(Un)Predictability and Macroeconomic Stability," CEPR Discussion Papers 6594, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Athanasios Orphanides, 2002. "Monetary policy rules and the Great Inflation," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2002-8, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  17. 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.
  18. Dean Croushore & Tom Stark, 1999. "A real-time data set for macroeconomists," Working Papers 99-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  19. Stock, James H & Watson, Mark W, 2002. "Macroeconomic Forecasting Using Diffusion Indexes," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(2), pages 147-62, April.
  20. Baffigi, Alberto & Golinelli, Roberto & Parigi, Giuseppe, 2004. "Bridge models to forecast the euro area GDP," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 447-460.
  21. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1989. "New Indexes of Coincident and Leading Economic Indicators," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1989, Volume 4, pages 351-409 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. 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.
  23. Boivin, Jean & Ng, Serena, 2005. "Understanding and Comparing Factor-Based Forecasts," MPRA Paper 836, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  24. Jushan Bai, 2003. "Inferential Theory for Factor Models of Large Dimensions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 135-171, January.
  25. Evan F. Koenig & Sheila Dolmas & Jeremy Piger, 2003. "The Use and Abuse of Real-Time Data in Economic Forecasting," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(3), pages 618-628, August.
  26. Rünstler, Gerhard & Sédillot, Franck, 2003. "Short-term estimates of euro area real GDP by means of monthly data," Working Paper Series 0276, European Central Bank.
  27. 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.
  28. Chow, Gregory C & Lin, An-loh, 1971. "Best Linear Unbiased Interpolation, Distribution, and Extrapolation of Time Series by Related Series," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 53(4), pages 372-75, November.
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