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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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File URL: http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/research_and_publications/discussion_papers/2009/dp09_15.pdf
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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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  1. Thomas Laubach and John C. Williams, 2001. "Measuring the Natural Rate of Interest," Computing in Economics and Finance 2001 35, Society for Computational Economics.
  2. Todd E. Clark & Michael W. McCracken, 2007. "Averaging forecasts from VARs with uncertain instabilities," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2007-42, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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  8. Athanasios Orphanides & Simon van Norden, 2004. "The reliability of inflation forecasts based on output gap estimates in real time," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2004-68, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. Amisano, Gianni & Giacomini, Raffaella, 2007. "Comparing Density Forecasts via Weighted Likelihood Ratio Tests," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 25, pages 177-190, April.
  10. James Morley & Charles Nelson & Eric Zivot, 2002. "Why Are Beveridge-Nelson and Unobserved-Component Decompositions of GDP So Different?," Working Papers UWEC-2002-01, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
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  28. Kevin Lee & Emi Mise & Kalvinder Shields & Tony Garratt, 2005. "Real time Representations of the Output Gap," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2005 26, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
  29. 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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