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Forecasting Monthly GDP for Canada

  • Annabelle Mourougane

The objective of this paper is to develop a short-term indicator-based model to predict quarterly GDP in Canada by efficiently exploiting all available monthly information. To this aim, monthly forecasting equations are estimated using the GDP series published every month by Statistics Canada as well as other monthly indicators. The procedures are automated and the model can be run whenever major monthly data are released, allowing the appropriate choice of the model according to the information set available. The most important gain from this procedure is for the current-quarter forecast when one or two months of GDP data are available, with all monthly models estimated in the paper outperforming a standard quarterly autoregressive model in terms of size of errors. The use of indicators also appears to improve forecasting performance, especially when an average of indicator-based models is used. Real-time forecasting performance of the average model appear to be good, with an apparent stability of the estimates from one update to the next, despite the extensive use of monthly data. The latter result should nonetheless be interpreted with caution and will need to be re-assessed when more data become available. Prévoir le PIB mensuel au Canada L’objectif de cet article est de développer un modèle d’indicateurs conjoncturels pour prédire le PIB trimestriel au Canada en utilisant de manière efficace toute l’information mensuelle disponible. À cette fin, des équations mensuelles de prévisions de court terme sont estimées en utilisant la série de PIB publiée chaque mois par Statistique Canada et d’autres indicateurs conjoncturels. Les procédures ont été automatisées et le modèle peut être mis à jour chaque fois qu’une donnée importante est publiée, la spécification du modèle variant ainsi en fonctions de l’ensemble des données disponibles. Le gain le plus important de la procédure développée est obtenue pour les prévisions du trimestre courant quand un ou deux mois de données du PIB mensuel sont disponibles. Dans ce cas, tous les modèles mensuels estimés dans cet article ont des erreurs de prévisions inférieures à celle d’un modèle trimestriel autorégressif standard. L’utilisation d’indicateurs conjoncturels améliore les performances en termes de prévisions, en particulier lorsqu’une moyenne de tous les modèles d’indicateurs conjoncturels est utilisée. Les prévisions réalisées en temps réel en faisant la moyenne des différents modèles d’indicateurs conjoncturels se sont avérées de qualité satisfaisante, avec une stabilité apparente des estimations successives, malgré l’utilisation extensive de données mensuelles. Ces résultats doivent toutefois être interprétés avec prudence et devront être vérifiés quand plus de données seront disponibles.

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Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 515.

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Date of creation: 13 Sep 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:515-en
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