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Forecasting U.S. inflation by Bayesian Model Averaging

  • Jonathan H. Wright

Recent empirical work has considered the prediction of inflation by combining the information in a large number of time series. One such method that has been found to give consistently good results consists of simple equal weighted averaging of the forecasts over a large number of different models, each of which is a linear regression model that relates inflation to a single predictor and a lagged dependent variable. In this paper, I consider using Bayesian Model Averaging for pseudo out-of-sample prediction of US inflation, and find that it gives more accurate forecasts than simple equal weighted averaging. This superior performance is consistent across subsamples and inflation measures. Meanwhile, both methods substantially outperform a naive time series benchmark of predicting inflation by an autoregression.

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Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series International Finance Discussion Papers with number 780.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:780
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  1. Jonathan H. Wright, 2003. "Bayesian Model Averaging and exchange rate forecasts," International Finance Discussion Papers 779, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2001. "Forecasting Output and Inflation: The Role of Asset Prices," NBER Working Papers 8180, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. K. J. Martijn Cremers, 2002. "Stock Return Predictability: A Bayesian Model Selection Perspective," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 15(4), pages 1223-1249.
  4. Avramov, Doron, 2002. "Stock return predictability and model uncertainty," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(3), pages 423-458, June.
  5. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1999. "Forecasting Inflation," NBER Working Papers 7023, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Christopher A. Sims, 2002. "The Role of Models and Probabilities in the Monetary Policy Process," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 33(2), pages 1-62.
  7. Gary Koop & Simon Potter, 2003. "Forecasting in Large Macroeconomic Panels using Bayesian Model Averaging," Discussion Papers in Economics 04/16, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
  8. Min, C.K. & Zellner, A., 1992. ""Bayesian and Non-Bayesian Methods for Combining Models and Forecasts with Applications to Forecasting International Growth Rates"," Papers 90-92-23, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
  9. Ben S. Bernanke & Jean Boivin, 2001. "Monetary Policy in a Data-Rich Environment," NBER Working Papers 8379, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Xavier Sala-I-Martin & Gernot Doppelhofer & Ronald I. Miller, 2004. "Determinants of Long-Term Growth: A Bayesian Averaging of Classical Estimates (BACE) Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 813-835, September.
  11. Andrew Atkeson & Lee E. Ohanian., 2001. "Are Phillips curves useful for forecasting inflation?," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 2-11.
  12. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 2000. "Monetary Policy Rules And Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence And Some Theory," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(1), pages 147-180, February.
  13. Carmen Fernandez & Eduardo Ley & Mark F. J. Steel, 2001. "Model uncertainty in cross-country growth regressions," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(5), pages 563-576.
  14. Stock J.H. & Watson M.W., 2002. "Forecasting Using Principal Components From a Large Number of Predictors," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 97, pages 1167-1179, December.
  15. Stephen G. Cecchetti & Rita S. Chu & Charles Steindel, 2000. "The unreliability of inflation indicators," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 6(Apr).
  16. Mark W. Watson & James H. Stock, 2004. "Combination forecasts of output growth in a seven-country data set," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(6), pages 405-430.
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