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Ghostbusting: Which Output Gap Measure Really Matters?

  • Andreas Billmeier

This paper investigates various output gap measures in a simple inflation forecasting framework. Reflecting the cyclical position of an economy, an (unobservable) output gap has important implications for economic analysis. I construct and compare common output gap measures for five European countries. Since output above potential reflects domestic inflationary pressures, including a gap could improve the accuracy of autoregressive inflation forecasting. This assertion is tested in a simple simulated out-of-sample forecasting exercise for the period 1990-2002. The main conclusions are that an output gap rarely provides useful information and that there is no single best output gap measure across countries.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 04/146.

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Length: 35
Date of creation: 01 Aug 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:04/146
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