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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. Garcia, Rene & Perron, Pierre, 1996. "An Analysis of the Real Interest Rate under Regime Shifts," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(1), pages 111-25, February.
  2. Pesaran, M. H. & Shin, Y. & Smith, R. J., 1997. "Structural Analysis of Vector Error Correction Models with Exogenous I(1) Variables," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9706, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  3. 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.
  4. Alexander Chudik & M. Hashem Pesaran, 2007. "Infinite Dimensional VARs and Factor Models," CESifo Working Paper Series 2176, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Dees, S. & Holly, S. & Pesaran, M.H. & Smith, L.V., 2007. "Long Run Macroeconomic Relations in the Global Economy," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0703, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  8. Clements, Michael P. & Hendry, David F., 2006. "Forecasting with Breaks," Handbook of Economic Forecasting, Elsevier.
  9. Timmermann, Allan, 2006. "Forecast Combinations," Handbook of Economic Forecasting, Elsevier.
  10. Pesaran, M.H. & Pick, A., 2008. "Forecasting Random Walks Under Drift Instability," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0814, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  11. Glenn D. Rudebusch & Brian P. Sack & Eric T. Swanson, 2006. "Macroeconomic implications of changes in the term premium," Working Paper Series 2006-46, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  12. 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.
  13. Arturo Estrella & Frederic S. Mishkin, 1996. "Predicting U.S. recessions: financial variables as leading indicators," Research Paper 9609, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  14. 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.
  15. Chudik, A. & Pesaran, M.H. & Tosetti, E., 2009. "Weak and Strong Cross Section Dependence and Estimation of Large Panels," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0924, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  16. Filippo di Mauro & L. Vanessa Smith & Stephane Dees & M. Hashem Pesaran, 2007. "Exploring the international linkages of the euro area: a global VAR analysis," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(1), pages 1-38.
  17. Hamilton, James D & Kim, Dong Heon, 2002. "A Reexamination of the Predictability of Economic Activity Using the Yield Spread," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 34(2), pages 340-60, May.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. Stock, James H & Watson, Mark W, 1996. "Evidence on Structural Instability in Macroeconomic Time Series Relations," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 14(1), pages 11-30, January.
  21. 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.
  22. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521632423 is not listed on IDEAS
  23. 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.
  24. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521634809 is not listed on IDEAS
  25. Alogoskoufis, George & Smith, Ron, 1991. " On Error Correction Models: Specification, Interpretation, Estimation," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(1), pages 97-128.
  26. Francis X. Diebold & Robert S. Mariano, 1994. "Comparing Predictive Accuracy," NBER Technical Working Papers 0169, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Schorfheide, Frank, 2000. "Forecasting Economic Time Series," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(03), pages 441-450, June.
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