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Predictive Ability of Business Cycle Indicators under Test: A Case Study for the Euro Area Industrial Production

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  • Carstensen, Kai
  • Wohlrabe, Klaus
  • Ziegler, Christina

Abstract

In this paper we assess the information content of seven widely cited early indicators for the euro area with respect to forecasting area-wide industrial production. To this end, we use various tests that are designed to compare competing forecast models. In addition to the standard Diebold-Mariano test, we employ tests that account for specific problems typically encountered in forecast exercises. Specifically, we pay attention to nested model structures, we alleviate the problem of data snooping arising from multiple pairwise testing, and we analyze the structural stability in the relative forecast performance of one indicator compared to a benchmark model. Moreover, we consider loss functions that overweight forecast errors in booms and recessions to check whether a specific indicator that appears to be a good choice on average is also preferable in times of economic stress. We find that on average three indicators have superior forecast ability, namely the EuroCoin indicator, the OECD composite leading indicator, and the FAZ-Euro indicator published by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. If one is interested in one-month forecasts only, the business climate indicator of the European Commission yields the smallest errors. However, the results are not completely invariant against the choice of the loss function. Moreover, rolling local tests reveal that the indicators are particularly useful in times of unusual changes in industrial production while the simple autoregressive benchmark is difficult to beat during time of average production growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Carstensen, Kai & Wohlrabe, Klaus & Ziegler, Christina, 2010. "Predictive Ability of Business Cycle Indicators under Test: A Case Study for the Euro Area Industrial Production," Discussion Papers in Economics 11442, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenec:11442
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Rossi, Barbara, 2013. "Advances in Forecasting under Instability," Handbook of Economic Forecasting, Elsevier.
    2. Elsayyad, May & Konrad, Kai A., 2012. "Fighting multiple tax havens," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 295-305.
    3. Yashkir, Olga & Yashkir, Yuriy, 2013. "Monitoring of Credit Risk through the Cycle: Risk Indicators," MPRA Paper 46402, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Anna Sophia Ciesielski & Klaus Wohlrabe, 2011. "Sektorale Prognosen im Verarbeitenden Gewerbe," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 64(22), pages 27-35, November.
    5. Patrick T. Kanda & Mehmet Balcilar & Pejman Bahramian & Rangan Gupta, 2016. "Forecasting South African inflation using non-linearmodels: a weighted loss-based evaluation," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(26), pages 2412-2427, June.
    6. repec:ipg:wpaper:2014-471 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Ha Quyen Ngo & Niklas Potrafke & Marina Riem & Christoph Schinke, 2018. "Ideology and Dissent among Economists: The Joint Economic Forecast of German Economic Research Institutes," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan;Eastern Economic Association, vol. 44(1), pages 135-152, January.
    8. Anna Billharz & Steffen Elstner & Marcus Jüppner, 2012. "Methoden der ifo Kurzfristprognose am Beispiel der Ausrüstungsinvestitionen," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 65(21), pages 24-33, November.
    9. Aye, Goodness C. & Balcilar, Mehmet & Gupta, Rangan & Majumdar, Anandamayee, 2015. "Forecasting aggregate retail sales: The case of South Africa," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 160(C), pages 66-79.
    10. Robert Lehmann & Klaus Wohlrabe, 2015. "Forecasting GDP at the Regional Level with Many Predictors," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 16(2), pages 226-254, May.
    11. Rülke Jan-Christoph, 2012. "Do Private Sector Forecasters Desire to Deviate From the German Council of Economic Experts?," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 232(4), pages 414-428, August.
    12. Jan-Christoph Rülke, 2011. "Do private sector forecasters desire to deviate from the German council of economic experts?," WHU Working Paper Series - Economics Group 11-04, WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management.
    13. Katja Rietzler & Sabine Stephan, 2012. "Monthly recession predictions in real time: A density forecast approach for German industrial production," IMK Working Paper 94-2012, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    weighted loss; leading indicators; euro area; forecasting;

    JEL classification:

    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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