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Nowcasting Business Cycles: a Bayesian Approach to Dynamic Heterogeneous Factor Models

Author

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  • D'Agostino, Antonello

    (European Stability Mechanism)

  • Giannone, Domenico

    (Federal Reserve Bank of New York)

  • Lenza, Michele

    (European Central Bank)

  • Modugno, Michele

    () (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.))

Abstract

We develop a framework for measuring and monitoring business cycles in real time. Following a long tradition in macroeconometrics, inference is based on a variety of indicators of economic activity, treated as imperfect measures of an underlying index of business cycle conditions. We extend existing approaches by permitting for heterogenous lead-lag patterns of the various indicators along the business cycles. The framework is well suited for high-frequency monitoring of current economic conditions in real time - nowcasting - since inference can be conducted in presence of mixed frequency data and irregular patterns of data availability. Our assessment of the underlying index of business cycle conditions is accurate and more timely than popular alternatives, including the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI). A formal real-time forecasting evaluation shows that the framework produces well-calibrated probability nowcasts that resemble the consensus assessment of t he Survey of Professional Forecasters.

Suggested Citation

  • D'Agostino, Antonello & Giannone, Domenico & Lenza, Michele & Modugno, Michele, 2015. "Nowcasting Business Cycles: a Bayesian Approach to Dynamic Heterogeneous Factor Models," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2015-66, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (US).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2015-66
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Monokroussos, George, 2015. "Nowcasting in Real Time Using Popularity Priors," MPRA Paper 68594, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Jacopo Cimadomo & Antonello D'Agostino, 2016. "Combining Time Variation and Mixed Frequencies: an Analysis of Government Spending Multipliers in Italy," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(7), pages 1276-1290, November.
    3. Brandyn Bok & Daniele Caratelli & Domenico Giannone & Argia M. Sbordone & Andrea Tambalotti, 2018. "Macroeconomic Nowcasting and Forecasting with Big Data," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 10(1), pages 615-643, August.
    4. Juan Antolin-Diaz & Thomas Drechsel & Ivan Petrella, 2017. "Tracking the Slowdown in Long-Run GDP Growth," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 99(2), pages 343-356, May.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Current Economic Conditions; Dynamic Factor Models; Dynamic Heterogeneity; Business Cycles; Real Time; Nowcasting.;

    JEL classification:

    • C11 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Bayesian Analysis: General
    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • C38 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Classification Methdos; Cluster Analysis; Principal Components; Factor Analysis
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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