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Forecasting Macroeconomic Variables Using Diffusion Indexes in Short Samples with Structural Change

  • Anindya Banerjee
  • Massimiliano Marcellino
  • Igor Masten

We conduct a detailed simulation study of the forecasting performance of diffusion index-based methods in short samples with structural change. We consider several data generation processes, to mimic different types of structural change, and compare the relative forecasting performance of factor models and more traditional time series methods. We find that changes in the loading structure of the factors into the variables of interest are extremely important in determining the performance of factor models. We complement the analysis with an empirical evaluation of forecasts for the key macroeconomic variables of the Euro area and Slovenia, for which relatively short samples are officially available and structural changes are likely. The results are coherent with the findings of the simulation exercise, and confirm the relatively good performance of factor-based forecasts also in short samples with structural change.

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Paper provided by IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University in its series Working Papers with number 334.

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Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:igi:igierp:334
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  1. Marcellino, Massimiliano, 2006. "A Simple Benchmark for Forecasts of Growth and Inflation," CEPR Discussion Papers 6012, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  3. Angelini, Elena & Henry, Jerome & Marcellino, Massimiliano, 2006. "Interpolation and backdating with a large information set," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 30(12), pages 2693-2724, December.
  4. Stock, James H. & Watson, Mark W., 2006. "Forecasting with Many Predictors," Handbook of Economic Forecasting, Elsevier.
  5. Jörg Breitung & Sandra Eickmeier, 2006. "Dynamic factor models," AStA Advances in Statistical Analysis, Springer, vol. 90(1), pages 27-42, March.
  6. Anindya Banerjee & Massimiliano Marcellino & Igor Masten, 2003. "Leading Indicators for Euro-area Inflation and GDP Growth," Working Papers 235, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  7. Michael P. Clements & David F. Hendry, 2001. "Forecasting Non-Stationary Economic Time Series," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262531895, June.
  8. Ard H.J. den Reijer, 2005. "Forecasting Dutch GDP using Large Scale Factor Models," DNB Working Papers 028, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  9. George Kapetanios & Massimiliano Marcellino, 2009. "A parametric estimation method for dynamic factor models of large dimensions," Journal of Time Series Analysis, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(2), pages 208-238, 03.
  10. Forni, Mario & Hallin, Marc & Lippi, Marco & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 1999. "The Generalized Dynamic Factor Model: Identification and Estimation," CEPR Discussion Papers 2338, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Boivin, Jean & Ng, Serena, 2006. "Are more data always better for factor analysis?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 169-194, May.
  12. Mario Forni & Marc Hallin & Marco Lippi & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2003. "The Generalized Dynamic Factor Model. One-Sided Estimation and Forecasting," LEM Papers Series 2003/13, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  13. Matheson, Troy D, 2006. "Factor Model Forecasts for New Zealand," MPRA Paper 807, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  14. Anindya Banerjee & Massimiliano Marcellino & Igor Masten, 2004. "Forecasting Macroeconomic Variables for the Acceding Countries," Working Papers 260, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  15. West, Kenneth D, 1996. "Asymptotic Inference about Predictive Ability," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1067-84, September.
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  17. Christian Schumacher, 2007. "Forecasting German GDP using alternative factor models based on large datasets," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(4), pages 271-302.
  18. Stock J.H. & Watson M.W., 2002. "Forecasting Using Principal Components From a Large Number of Predictors," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 97, pages 1167-1179, December.
  19. Marcellino, Massimiliano & Stock, James H & Watson, Mark W, 2005. "A Comparison of Direct and Iterated Multistep AR Methods for Forecasting Macroeconomic Time Series," CEPR Discussion Papers 4976, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  20. Artis, Michael J & Banerjee, Anindya & Marcellino, Massimiliano, 2002. "Factor Forecasts for the UK," CEPR Discussion Papers 3119, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  21. Marcellino, Massimiliano & Stock, James H. & Watson, Mark W., 2003. "Macroeconomic forecasting in the Euro area: Country specific versus area-wide information," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 1-18, February.
  22. Artis, M. & Marcellino, M., 1999. "Fiscal Forecasting: the Track Record of the IMF, OECD and EC," Economics Working Papers eco99/22, European University Institute.
  23. Marcellino, Massimiliano, 2000. " Forecast Bias and MSFE Encompassing," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 62(4), pages 533-42, September.
  24. Stock, James H & Watson, Mark W, 2002. "Macroeconomic Forecasting Using Diffusion Indexes," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(2), pages 147-62, April.
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