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Improving Unemployment Rate Forecasts Using Survey Data

  • Österholm, Pär


    (National Institute of Economic Research)

This paper investigates whether forecasts of the Swedish unemployment rate can be improved by using business and household survey data. We conduct an out-of-sample forecast exercise in which the performance of a Bayesian VAR model with only macroeconomic data is compared to that when the model also includes survey data. Results show that the forecasting performance at short horizons can be improved. The im-provement is largest when forward-looking data from the manufacturing industry is employed.

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Paper provided by National Institute of Economic Research in its series Working Paper with number 112.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: 01 Jun 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:nierwp:0112
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Institute of Economic Research, P.O. Box 3116, SE-103 62 Stockholm, Sweden
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  1. Malin Adolfson & Michael K. Andersson & Jesper Lindé & Mattias Villani & Anders Vredin, 2007. "Modern Forecasting Models in Action: Improving Macroeconomic Analyses at Central Banks," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 3(4), pages 111-144, December.
  2. Antonio Ribba, 2006. "The joint dynamics of inflation, unemployment and interest rate in the United States since 1980," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 31(2), pages 497-511, June.
  3. Berger, Helge & Österholm, Pär, 2008. "Does money still matter for U.S. output?," Discussion Papers 2008/7, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
  4. Amos Golan & Jeffrey M. Perloff, 2004. "Superior Forecasts of the U.S. Unemployment Rate Using a Nonparametric Method," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 433-438, February.
  5. Milas, Costas & Rothman, Philip, 2008. "Out-of-sample forecasting of unemployment rates with pooled STVECM forecasts," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 101-121.
  6. Sydney C. Ludvigson, 2004. "Consumer Confidence and Consumer Spending," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(2), pages 29-50, Spring.
  7. Armstrong, J. Scott, 2007. "Significance tests harm progress in forecasting," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 321-327.
  8. Ashley, R & Granger, C W J & Schmalensee, R, 1980. "Advertising and Aggregate Consumption: An Analysis of Causality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(5), pages 1149-67, July.
  9. Jared Laxton & Igor Ermolaev & Charles Freedman & Ondra Kamenik & Michel Juillard & Douglas Laxton & Ioan Carabenciov & Dmitry Korshunov, 2008. "A Small Quarterly Multi-Country Projection Model," IMF Working Papers 08/279, International Monetary Fund.
  10. Andy C.C. Kwan & John A. Cotsomitis, 2006. "The Usefulness of Consumer Confidence in Forecasting Household Spending in Canada: A National and Regional Analysis," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 44(1), pages 185-197, January.
  11. Philip Rothman, 1998. "Forecasting Asymmetric Unemployment Rates," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(1), pages 164-168, February.
  12. John A. Cotsomitis & Andy C. C. Kwan, 2004. "Can Consumer Confidence Forecast Household Spending? Evidence from the European Commission Business and Consumer Surveys," Departmental Working Papers _161, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Department of Economics.
  13. Magnus Gustavsson & Pär Österholm, 2010. "The presence of unemployment hysteresis in the OECD: what can we learn from out-of-sample forecasts?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 779-792, June.
  14. Todd Clark & Michael McCracken, 2005. "Evaluating Direct Multistep Forecasts," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(4), pages 369-404.
  15. Pär Österholm, 2008. "Can forecasting performance be improved by considering the steady state? An application to Swedish inflation and interest rate," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(1), pages 41-51.
  16. Galina Hale & Òscar Jordà, 2007. "Do monetary aggregates help forecast inflation?," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue apr13.
  17. Norman R. Swanson, 2000. "An Out of Sample Test for Granger Causality," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0362, Econometric Society.
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