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Nowcasting Chinese GDP: Information Content of Economic and Financial Data


  • Matthew S. Yiu

    (Hong Kong Monetary Authority)

  • Kenneth K. Chow

    (Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research)


This paper applies the factor model proposed by Giannone, Reichlin, and Small (2005) on a large data set to nowcast (i.e. current-quarter forecast) the annual growth rate of China¡¦s quarterly GDP. The data set contains 189 indicator series of several categories, such as prices, industrial production, fixed asset investment, external sector, money market and financial market. This paper also applies Bai and Ng¡¦s criteria (2002) to determine the number of common factors in the factor model. The identified model generates out-of-sample nowcasts for China's GDP with smaller mean squared forecast errors than those of the Random Walk benchmark. Moreover, using the factor model, we find that interest rate data is the single most important block in estimating current-quarter GDP in China. Other important blocks are consumer and retail prices data and fixed asset investment indicators.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew S. Yiu & Kenneth K. Chow, 2011. "Nowcasting Chinese GDP: Information Content of Economic and Financial Data," Working Papers 042011, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:hkm:wpaper:042011

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    Cited by:

    1. Chien-jung Ting & Yi-Long Hsiao & Rui-jun Su, 2022. "Application of the Real-Time Tourism Data in Nowcasting the Service Consumption in Taiwan," Journal of Applied Finance & Banking, SCIENPRESS Ltd, vol. 12(4), pages 1-4.
    2. Evžen Kočenda & Karen Poghosyan, 2020. "Nowcasting Real GDP Growth: Comparison between Old and New EU Countries," Eastern European Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 58(3), pages 197-220, May.
    3. Rusnák, Marek, 2016. "Nowcasting Czech GDP in real time," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 26-39.
    4. Chien-jung Ting & Yi-Long Hsiao, 2022. "Nowcasting the GDP in Taiwan and the Real-Time Tourism Data," Advances in Management and Applied Economics, SCIENPRESS Ltd, vol. 12(3), pages 1-2.
    5. Abdić Ademir & Resić Emina & Abdić Adem, 2020. "Modelling and forecasting GDP using factor model: An empirical study from Bosnia and Herzegovina," Croatian Review of Economic, Business and Social Statistics, Sciendo, vol. 6(1), pages 10-26, May.
    6. Abdić Ademir & Resić Emina & Abdić Adem & Rovčanin Adnan, 2020. "Nowcasting GDP of Bosnia and Herzegovina: A Comparison of Forecast Accuracy Models," South East European Journal of Economics and Business, Sciendo, vol. 15(2), pages 1-14, December.
    7. Smith Paul, 2016. "Nowcasting UK GDP during the depression," Working Papers 1606, University of Strathclyde Business School, Department of Economics.

    More about this item


    Large Data Set; Pseudo Real Time Estimates; Factor Model; Kalman Filtering; Nowcasting; Information Content;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E37 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications

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