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Forecasting economic and financial variables with global VARs

  • M. Hashem Pesaran
  • Til Schuermann
  • L. Vanessa Smith

This paper considers the problem of forecasting real and financial macroeconomic variables across a large number of countries in the global economy. To this end, a global vector autoregressive (GVAR) model previously estimated over the 1979:Q1-2003:Q4 period by Dees, de Mauro, Pesaran, and Smith (2007) is used to generate out-of-sample one-quarter- and four-quarters-ahead forecasts of real output, inflation, real equity prices, exchange rates, and interest rates over the period 2004:Q1-2005:Q4. Forecasts are obtained for 134 variables from twenty-six regions made up of thirty-three countries and covering about 90 percent of world output. The forecasts are compared to typical benchmarks: univariate autoregressive and random walk models. Building on the forecast combination literature, the paper examines the effects of model and estimation uncertainty on forecast outcomes by pooling forecasts obtained from different GVAR models estimated over alternative sample periods. Given the size of the modeling problem and the heterogeneity of the economies considered, industrialized, emerging, and less developed countries, as well as the very real likelihood of multiple structural breaks, averaging forecasts across both models and windows makes a significant difference. Indeed, the double-averaged GVAR forecasts performed better than the benchmark forecasts, especially for output, inflation, and real equity prices.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Staff Reports with number 317.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:317
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  1. Dees, S. & Holly, S. & Pesaran, M.H. & Smith, L.V., 2007. "Long Run Macroeconomic Relations in the Global Economy," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0661, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  2. Katrin Assenmacher-Wesche & M. Hashem Pesaran, 2008. "Forecasting the Swiss Economy Using VECX* Models: An Exercise in Forecast Combination Across Modelsand Observation Windows," Working Papers 2008-03, Swiss National Bank.
  3. Marco Aiolfi & Carlos Capistrán & Allan Timmermann, 2010. "Forecast Combinations," Working Papers 2010-04, Banco de México.
  4. Chudik, Alexander & Pesaran, M. Hashem, 2011. "Infinite-dimensional VARs and factor models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 163(1), pages 4-22, July.
  5. René Garcia & Pierre Perron, 1995. "An Analysis of the Real Interest Rate Under Regime Shifts," CIRANO Working Papers 95s-05, CIRANO.
  6. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1994. "Evidence on structural instability in macroeconomic times series relations," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 94-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  7. Hamilton, James Douglas & Kim, Dong Heon, 2000. "A Re-examination of the Predictability of Economic Activity Using the Yield Spread," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt69v8p1m9, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  8. Francis X. Diebold & Glenn D. Rudebusch & S. Boragan Aruoba, 2004. "The Macroeconomy and the Yield Curve: A Dynamic Latent Factor Approach," NBER Working Papers 10616, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Pesaran M.H. & Schuermann T. & Weiner S.M., 2004. "Modeling Regional Interdependencies Using a Global Error-Correcting Macroeconometric Model," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 22, pages 129-162, April.
  10. Arturo Estrella & Frederic S. Mishkin, 1995. "Predicting U.S. Recessions: Financial Variables as Leading Indicators," NBER Working Papers 5379, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Stephane Dees & Filippo di Mauro & M. Hashem Pesaran & L. Vanessa Smith, 2005. "Exploring the International Linkages of the Euro Area: a Global VAR Analysis," CESifo Working Paper Series 1425, CESifo Group Munich.
  12. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521632423 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. M. Hashem Pesaran & Andreas Pick, 2009. "Forecasting Random Walks under Drift Instability," DNB Working Papers 207, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  14. Carlo Favero & Iryna Kaminska & Ulf Soderstrom, 2005. "The Predictive Power of the Yield Spread: Further Evidence and a Structural Interpretation," Working Papers 280, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  15. Diebold, Francis X & Mariano, Roberto S, 2002. "Comparing Predictive Accuracy," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(1), pages 134-44, January.
  16. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2007. "Why Has U.S. Inflation Become Harder to Forecast?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(s1), pages 3-33, 02.
  17. Chudik, Alexander & Pesaran, Hashem & Tosetti, Elisa, 2009. "Weak and strong cross section dependence and estimation of large panels," Working Paper Series 1100, European Central Bank.
  18. 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.
  19. Mackinnon, J.G. & Haug, A.A. & Michelis, L., 1996. "Numerical Distribution Functions of Likelihood Ratio Tests for Cointegration," G.R.E.Q.A.M. 96a09, Universite Aix-Marseille III.
  20. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521634809 is not listed on IDEAS
  21. Glenn D. Rudebusch & Brian P. Sack & Eric T. Swanson, 2007. "Macroeconomic implications of changes in the term premium," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 241-270.
  22. Pesaran, M. Hashem & Shin, Yongcheol & Smith, Richard J., 2000. "Structural analysis of vector error correction models with exogenous I(1) variables," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 293-343, August.
  23. Clements, Michael P. & Hendry, David F., 2006. "Forecasting with Breaks," Handbook of Economic Forecasting, Elsevier.
  24. Pesaran, M. Hashem & Timmermann, Allan, 2007. "Selection of estimation window in the presence of breaks," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 137(1), pages 134-161, March.
  25. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2007. "Erratum to "Why Has U.S. Inflation Become Harder to Forecast?"," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(7), pages 1849-1849, October.
  26. Alogoskoufis, George & Smith, Ron, 1991. " On Error Correction Models: Specification, Interpretation, Estimation," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(1), pages 97-128.
  27. Schorfheide, Frank, 2000. "Forecasting Economic Time Series," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(03), pages 441-450, June.
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