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Where Are We Now? Real-time Estimates of the Macro Economy

This paper describes a method for calculating daily real-time estimates of the current state of the U.S. economy. The estimates are computed from data on scheduled U.S. macroeconomic announcements using an econometric model that allows for variable reporting lags, temporal aggregation, and other complications in the data. The model can be applied to find real-time estimates of GDP, inflation, unemployment or any other macroeconomic variable of interest. In this paper I focus on the problem of estimating the current level of and growth rate in GDP. I construct daily real-time estimates of GDP that incorporate public information known on the day in question. The real-time estimates produced by the model are uniquely-suited to studying how perceived developments the macro economy are linked to asset prices over a wide range of frequencies. The estimates also provide, for the first time, daily time series that can be used in practical policy decisions.

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Paper provided by Georgetown University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number gueconwpa~05-05-02.

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Date of creation: 02 May 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:geo:guwopa:gueconwpa~05-05-02
Contact details of provider: Postal: Georgetown University Department of Economics Washington, DC 20057-1036
Phone: 202-687-6074
Fax: 202-687-6102
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Order Information: Postal: Roger Lagunoff Professor of Economics Georgetown University Department of Economics Washington, DC 20057-1036
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  1. Athanasios Orphanides, 2001. "Monetary Policy Rules Based on Real-Time Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 964-985, September.
  2. Tom Stark and Dean Croushore, 2001. "Forecasting with a Real-Time Data Set for Macroeconomists," Computing in Economics and Finance 2001 258, Society for Computational Economics.
  3. Balduzzi, Pierluigi & Elton, Edwin J. & Green, T. Clifton, 2001. "Economic News and Bond Prices: Evidence from the U.S. Treasury Market," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 36(04), pages 523-543, December.
  4. 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.
  5. N. Gregory Mankiw & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1986. "News or Noise? An Analysis of GNP Revisions," NBER Working Papers 1939, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Torben G. Andersen & Tim Bollerslev & Francis X. Diebold & Clara Vega, 2002. "Micro Effects of Macro Announcements: Real-Time Price Discovery in Foreign Exchange?," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 02-23, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
  7. Pierluigi Balduzzi & Edwin J. Elton & T. Clifton Green, 1997. "Economic News and the Yield Curve: Evidence from the U.S. Treasury Market," New York University, Leonard N. Stern School Finance Department Working Paper Seires 98-005, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business-.
  8. Martin D.D. Evans & Richard K. Lyons, 2004. "A New Micro Model of Exchange Rate Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 10379, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Karen E. Dynan & Douglas Elmendorf, 2001. "Do provisional estimates of output miss economic turning points?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2001-52, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  10. 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.
  11. Liu, H & Hall, Stephen G, 2001. "Creating High-Frequency National Accounts with State-Space Modelling: A Monte Carlo Experiment," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(6), pages 441-49, September.
  12. Croushore, Dean & Stark, Tom, 2001. "A real-time data set for macroeconomists," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 111-130, November.
  13. John C. Robertson & Ellis W. Tallman, 1999. "Vector autoregressions: forecasting and reality," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q1, pages 4-18.
  14. Faust, Jon & Rogers, John H & Wright, Jonathan H, 2005. "News and Noise in G-7 GDP Announcements," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 37(3), pages 403-19, June.
  15. Roberto S. Mariano & Yasutomo Murasawa, 2003. "A new coincident index of business cycles based on monthly and quarterly series," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(4), pages 427-443.
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