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

  • Domenico Giannone
  • Lucrezia Reichlin
  • David H. 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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. D’Agostino, Antonello & Giannone, Domenico, 2006. "Comparing alternative predictors based on large-panel factor models," Working Paper Series 0680, European Central Bank.
  4. Forni, Mario & Hallin, Marc & Lippi, Marco & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 1999. "The Generalized Dynamic Factor Model: Identification and Estimation," CEPR Discussion Papers 2338, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  11. Athanasios Orphanides, 2002. "Monetary-Policy Rules and the Great Inflation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 115-120, May.
  12. Boivin, Jean & Ng, Serena, 2006. "Are more data always better for factor analysis?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 169-194, May.
  13. Stark, Tom & Croushore, Dean, 2002. "Forecasting with a real-time data set for macroeconomists," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 507-531, December.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Catherine Doz & Domenico Giannone & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2011. "A two-step estimator for large approximate dynamic factor models based on Kalman filtering," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00638009, HAL.
  17. 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.
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  20. Evans, Martin D, 2005. "Where Are We Now? Real-Time Estimates of the Macroeconomy," MPRA Paper 831, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  21. D'Agostino, Antonello & Giannone, Domenico & Surico, Paolo, 2007. "(Un)Predictability and Macroeconomic Stability," CEPR Discussion Papers 6594, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  22. 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.
  23. Jean Boivin & Serena Ng, 2005. "Understanding and Comparing Factor-Based Forecasts," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 1(3), December.
  24. 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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  26. Jushan Bai, 2003. "Inferential Theory for Factor Models of Large Dimensions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 135-171, January.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
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