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Forecasting Consumption in Real Time: The Role of Consumer Confidence Surveys

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  • Kajal Lahiri
  • George Monokroussos
  • Yongchen Zhao

Abstract

We study the role of consumer confidence surveys in forecasting personal consumption expenditure. We reexamine existing models of consumption and consumer confidence using both quarterly and monthly data in real time. Additionally, we produce forecasts of consumption expenditures with and without consumer confidence measures using a dynamic factor model and a real-time, jagged-edge data set. We establish in a robust way that consumer confidence significantly improves the accuracy of consumption forecasts. Furthermore, traditional macroeconomic theories seem to be unable to fully account for these results.

Suggested Citation

  • Kajal Lahiri & George Monokroussos & Yongchen Zhao, 2012. "Forecasting Consumption in Real Time: The Role of Consumer Confidence Surveys," Discussion Papers 12-02, University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:nya:albaec:12-02
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    File URL: http://www.albany.edu/economics/research/workingp/2012/lmz-consent.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Carroll, Christopher D & Fuhrer, Jeffrey C & Wilcox, David W, 1994. "Does Consumer Sentiment Forecast Household Spending? If So, Why?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1397-1408, December.
    3. Lahiri, Kajal & Monokroussos, George, 2013. "Nowcasting US GDP: The role of ISM business surveys," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 644-658.
    4. 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.
    5. Jeffrey C. Fuhrer, 1993. "What role does consumer sentiment play in the U.S. macroeconomy?," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Jan, pages 32-44.
    6. Eric M. Leeper, 1992. "Consumer attitudes: king for a day," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Jul, pages 1-15.
    7. Diebold, Francis X & Mariano, Roberto S, 2002. "Comparing Predictive Accuracy," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(1), pages 134-144, January.
    8. Jason Bram & Sydney Ludvigson, 1998. "Does consumer confidence forecast household expenditure? a sentiment index horse race," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Jun, pages 59-78.
    9. E. Philip Howrey, 2001. "The Predictive Power of the Index of Consumer Sentiment," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 32(1), pages 175-216.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hatice Gokce Karasoy & Caglar Yunculer, 2015. "The Explanatory Power and the Forecast Performance of Consumer Confidence Indices for Private Consumption Growth in Turkey," Working Papers 1519, Research and Monetary Policy Department, Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey.

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