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Assessing the Real-Time Informational Content of Macroeconomic Data Releases for Now-/Forecasting GDP

Listed author(s):
  • Konstantin Kholodilin
  • Boriss Siliverstovs

This study utilizes the dynamic factor model of Giannone et al. (2008) in order to make now-/forecasts of GDP quarter-on-quarter growth rates in Switzerland. It also assesses the informational content of macroeconomic data releases for forecasting of the Swiss GDP. We find that the factor model offers a substantial improvement in forecast accuracy of GDP growth rates compared to a benchmark naive constant-growth model at all forecast horizons and at all data vintages. The largest forecast accuracy is achieved when GDP nowcasts for an actual quarter are made about three months ahead of the official data release. We also document that both business tendency surveys as well as stock market indices possess the largest informational content for GDP forecasting although their ranking depends on the underlying transformation of monthly indicators from which the common factors are extracted.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3929/ethz-a-005975867
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Paper provided by KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich in its series KOF Working papers with number 10-251.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2010
Handle: RePEc:kof:wpskof:10-251
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  1. 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.
  2. Giannone, Domenico & Reichlin, Lucrezia & Small, David, 2008. "Nowcasting: The real-time informational content of macroeconomic data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 665-676, May.
  3. 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.
  4. Michael Artis & Anindya Banerjee & Massimiliano Marcellino, "undated". "Factor forecasts for the UK," Working Papers 203, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  5. Knut Aastveit & Tørres Trovik, 2012. "Nowcasting norwegian GDP: the role of asset prices in a small open economy," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 42(1), pages 95-119, February.
  6. Kholodilin Konstantin Arkadievich & Siliverstovs Boriss, 2006. "On the Forecasting Properties of the Alternative Leading Indicators for the German GDP: Recent Evidence," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 226(3), pages 234-259, June.
  7. Israel Sancho & maximo Camacho, 2002. "Spanish diffusion indexes," Computing in Economics and Finance 2002 276, Society for Computational Economics.
  8. Schumacher, Christian & Breitung, Jörg, 2008. "Real-time forecasting of German GDP based on a large factor model with monthly and quarterly data," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 386-398.
  9. Boivin, Jean & Ng, Serena, 2006. "Are more data always better for factor analysis?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 169-194, May.
  10. Boriss Siliverstovs & Kinstantin Kholodilim, 2009. "On selection of components for a diffusion index model: it's not the size, it's how you use it," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(12), pages 1249-1254.
  11. Mario Forni & Marc Hallin & Marco Lippi & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2000. "The Generalized Dynamic-Factor Model: Identification And Estimation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(4), pages 540-554, November.
  12. Bai, Jushan & Ng, Serena, 2008. "Forecasting economic time series using targeted predictors," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 146(2), pages 304-317, October.
  13. Francis X. Diebold & Glenn D. Rudebusch, 1989. "Forecasting output with the composite leading index: an ex ante analysis," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 90, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  14. Gary Koop & Simon Potter, 2004. "Forecasting in dynamic factor models using Bayesian model averaging," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 7(2), pages 550-565, December.
  15. 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.
  16. Giannone, Domenico & Reichlin, Lucrezia & Small, David, 2005. "Nowcasting GDP and Inflation: The Real Time Informational Content of Macroeconomic Data Releases," CEPR Discussion Papers 5178, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Croushore, Dean, 2005. "Do consumer-confidence indexes help forecast consumer spending in real time?," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 435-450, December.
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