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Real-Time Forecasting with a MIDAS VAR

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Abstract

This paper presents a MIDAS type mixed frequency VAR forecasting model. First, we propose a general and compact mixed frequency VAR framework using a stacked vector approach. Second, we integrate the mixed frequency VAR with a MIDAS type Almon lag polynomial scheme which is designed to reduce the parameter space while keeping models flexible. We show how to recast the resulting non-linear MIDAS type mixed frequency VAR into a linear equation system that can be easily estimated. A pseudo out-of-sample forecasting exercise with US real-time data yields that mixed frequency VAR substantially improves predictive accuracy upon a standard VAR for different VAR specifications. Forecast errors for, e.g., GDP growth decrease by 30 to 60 percent for forecast horizons up to six months and by around 20 percent for a forecast horizon of one year.

Suggested Citation

  • Heiner F. Mikosch & Stefan Neuwirth, 2015. "Real-Time Forecasting with a MIDAS VAR," KOF Working papers 15-377, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:kof:wpskof:15-377
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3929/ethz-a-010414894
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    Keywords

    Forecasting; Mixed frequency data; MIDAS; VAR; Real time;

    JEL classification:

    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods
    • E27 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications

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