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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
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Handle: RePEc:igi:igierp:334
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  1. 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.
  2. Forni, Mario & Hallin, Marc & Lippi, Marco & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 2005. "The Generalized Dynamic Factor Model: One-Sided Estimation and Forecasting," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 100, pages 830-840, September.
  3. 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.
  4. Schumacher, Christian, 2005. "Forecasting German GDP using alternative factor models based on large datasets," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2005,24, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  5. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1998. "Diffusion Indexes," NBER Working Papers 6702, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Kapetanios, George & Marcellino, Massimiliano, 2006. "A Parametric Estimation Method for Dynamic Factor Models of Large Dimensions," CEPR Discussion Papers 5620, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  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. West, Kenneth D, 1996. "Asymptotic Inference about Predictive Ability," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1067-84, September.
  9. Stock, James H. & Watson, Mark W., 1999. "Forecasting inflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 293-335, October.
  10. Anindya Banerjee & Massimiliano Marcellino & Igor Masten, 2005. "Leading Indicators for Euro-area Inflation and GDP Growth," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 67(s1), pages 785-813, December.
  11. Marcellino, Massimiliano & Stock, James H. & Watson, Mark W., 2006. "A comparison of direct and iterated multistep AR methods for forecasting macroeconomic time series," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 135(1-2), pages 499-526.
  12. 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.
  13. Artis, M. & Marcellino, M., 1999. "Fiscal Forecasting: the Track Record of the IMF, OECD and EC," Economics Working Papers eco99/22, European University Institute.
  14. 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.
  15. Boivin, Jean & Ng, Serena, 2006. "Are more data always better for factor analysis?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 169-194, May.
  16. Marcellino, Massimiliano, 2006. "A Simple Benchmark for Forecasts of Growth and Inflation," CEPR Discussion Papers 6012, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. 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.
  18. Michael Artis & Anindya Banerjee & Massimiliano Marcellino, . "Factor forecasts for the UK," Working Papers 203, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  19. 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.
  20. Matheson, Troy D, 2006. "Factor Model Forecasts for New Zealand," MPRA Paper 807, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  21. Breitung, Jörg & Eickmeier, Sandra, 2005. "Dynamic factor models," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2005,38, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  22. Ard H.J. den Reijer, 2005. "Forecasting Dutch GDP using Large Scale Factor Models," DNB Working Papers 028, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  23. 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.
  24. Stock, James H. & Watson, Mark W., 2006. "Forecasting with Many Predictors," Handbook of Economic Forecasting, Elsevier.
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