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Measuring output gap uncertainty

We propose a methodology for producing density forecasts for the output gap in real time using a large number of vector autoregessions in inflation and output gap measures. Density combination utilizes a linear mixture of experts framework to produce potentially non-Gaussian ensemble densities for the unobserved output gap. In our application, we show that data revisions alter substantially our probabilistic assessments of the output gap using a variety of output gap measures derived from univariate detrending filters. The resulting ensemble produces well-calibrated forecast densities for US inflation in real time, in contrast to those from simple univariate autoregressions which ignore the contribution of the output gap. Combining evidence from both linear trends and more flexible univariate detrending filters induces strong multi-modality in the predictive densities for the unobserved output gap. The peaks associated with these two detrending methodologies indicate output gaps of opposite sign for some bservations, reflecting the pervasive nature of model uncertainty in our US data.

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Paper provided by Reserve Bank of New Zealand in its series Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series with number DP2009/15.

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Length: 22 p
Date of creation: Dec 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nzb:nzbdps:2009/15
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  25. Orphanides, Athanasios & van Norden, Simon, 2005. "The Reliability of Inflation Forecasts Based on Output Gap Estimates in Real Time," CEPR Discussion Papers 4830, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  26. Tae-Hwy Lee & Yong Bao & Burak Saltoğlu, 2007. "Comparing density forecast models Previous versions of this paper have been circulated with the title, 'A Test for Density Forecast Comparison with Applications to Risk Management' since October 2003;," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(3), pages 203-225.
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  28. Marcellino, Massimiliano & Musso, Alberto, 2010. "Real time estimates of the euro area output gap: reliability and forecasting performance," Working Paper Series 1157, European Central Bank.
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