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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. Stock, J.H. & Watson, M.W., 1989. "New Indexes Of Coincident And Leading Economic Indicators," Papers 178d, Harvard - J.F. Kennedy School of Government.
  2. Martin D. D. Evans, 2005. "Where Are We Now? Real-Time Estimates of the Macroeconomy," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 1(2), September.
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  6. Domenico Giannone & Lucrezia Reichlin & Luca Sala, 2005. "Monetary policy in real time," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/6401, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    • 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. Catherine Doz & Domenico Giannone & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2008. "A Quasi Maximum Likelihood Approach for Large Approximate Dynamic Factor Models," Working Papers ECARES 2008_034, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  8. 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.
  9. Doz, Catherine & Giannone, Domenico & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 2011. "A two-step estimator for large approximate dynamic factor models based on Kalman filtering," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 164(1), pages 188-205, September.
  10. 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.
  11. Evan F. Koenig & Sheila Dolmas & Jeremy Piger, 2000. "The use and abuse of "real-time" data in economic forecasting," Working Papers 0004, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
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  14. Ben S. Bernanke & Jean Boivin, 2001. "Monetary Policy in a Data-Rich Environment," NBER Working Papers 8379, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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. 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.
  17. Boivin, Jean & Ng, Serena, 2005. "Understanding and Comparing Factor-Based Forecasts," MPRA Paper 836, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  18. Forni, Mario & Giannone, Domenico & Lippi, Marco & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 2007. "Opening the black box: structural factor models with large cross-sections," Working Paper Series 0712, European Central Bank.
  19. Tom Stark and Dean Croushore, 2001. "Forecasting with a Real-Time Data Set for Macroeconomists," Computing in Economics and Finance 2001 258, Society for Computational Economics.
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  21. Dean Croushore & Tom Stark, 1999. "A real-time data set for macroeconomists," Working Papers 99-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  22. 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.
  23. Mario Forni & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2001. "Federal policies and local economies: Europe and the U.S," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/10141, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  24. 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.).
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  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
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