IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Are Macroeconomic Variables Useful for Forecasting the Distribution of U.S. Inflation?

  • Manzan, Sebastiano
  • Zerom, Dawit

Much of the US inflation forecasting literature deals with examining the ability of macroeconomic indicators to predict the mean of future inflation, and the overwhelming evidence suggests that the macroeconomic indicators provide little or no predictability. In this paper, we expand the scope of inflation predictability and explore whether macroeconomic indicators are useful in predicting the distribution of future inflation. To incorporate macroeconomic indicators into the prediction of the conditional distribution of future inflation, we introduce a semi-parametric approach using conditional quantiles. The approach offers more flexibility in capturing the possible role of macroeconomic indicators in predicting the different parts of the future inflation distribution. Using monthly data on US inflation, we find that unemployment rate, housing starts, and the term spread provide significant out-of-sample predictability for the distribution of core inflation. Importantly, this result is obtained for a forecast evaluation period that we intentionally chose to be after 1984, when current research shows that macroeconomic indicators do not add much to the predictability of the future mean inflation. This paper discusses various findings using forecast intervals and forecast densities, and highlights the unique insights that the distribution approach offers, which otherwise would be ignored if we relied only on mean forecasts.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/14387/1/MPRA_paper_14387.pdf
File Function: original version
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 14387.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 30 Jan 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:14387
Contact details of provider: Postal: Schackstr. 4, D-80539 Munich, Germany
Phone: +49-(0)89-2180-2219
Fax: +49-(0)89-2180-3900
Web page: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Alan Greenspan, 2004. "Risk and Uncertainty in Monetary Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 33-40, May.
  2. Corradi, Valentina & Swanson, Norman R., 2006. "Predictive density and conditional confidence interval accuracy tests," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 135(1-2), pages 187-228.
  3. Victor Chernozhukov & Iv·n Fern·ndez-Val & Alfred Galichon, 2010. "Quantile and Probability Curves Without Crossing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(3), pages 1093-1125, 05.
  4. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2008. "Phillips curve inflation forecasts," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 53.
  5. Giacomini, Raffaella & White, Halbert, 2003. "Tests of Conditional Predictive Ability," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt5jk0j5jh, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  6. Stock, James H. & Watson, Mark W., 1999. "Forecasting inflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 293-335, October.
  7. Timmermann, Allan, 2006. "Forecast Combinations," Handbook of Economic Forecasting, Elsevier.
  8. Gianni Amisano & Raffaella Giacomini, 2005. "Comparing Density Forecsts via Weighted Likelihood Ratio Tests," Working Papers ubs0504, University of Brescia, Department of Economics.
  9. Clark, Todd E. & McCracken, Michael W., 2006. "The Predictive Content of the Output Gap for Inflation: Resolving In-Sample and Out-of-Sample Evidence," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(5), pages 1127-1148, August.
  10. Robertson, John C & Tallman, Ellis W & Whiteman, Charles H, 2005. "Forecasting Using Relative Entropy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 37(3), pages 383-401, June.
  11. Andrew Ang & Geert Bekaert & Min Wei, 2005. "Do Macro Variables, Asset Markets or Surveys Forecast Inflation Better?," NBER Working Papers 11538, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Jonas D. M. Fisher & Chin Te Liu & Ruilin Zhou, 2002. "When can we forecast inflation?," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q I, pages 32-44.
  13. Andrew Atkeson & Lee E. Ohanian., 2001. "Are Phillips curves useful for forecasting inflation?," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 2-11.
  14. Hall, Stephen G. & Mitchell, James, 2007. "Combining density forecasts," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 1-13.
  15. Diebold, Francis X & Gunther, Todd A & Tay, Anthony S, 1998. "Evaluating Density Forecasts with Applications to Financial Risk Management," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(4), pages 863-83, November.
  16. Koenker, Roger W & Bassett, Gilbert, Jr, 1978. "Regression Quantiles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 33-50, January.
  17. Hong, Yongmiao & Li, Haitao & Zhao, Feng, 2007. "Can the random walk model be beaten in out-of-sample density forecasts? Evidence from intraday foreign exchange rates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 141(2), pages 736-776, December.
  18. Lutz Kilian & Simone Manganelli, 2008. "The Central Banker as a Risk Manager: Estimating the Federal Reserve's Preferences under Greenspan," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(6), pages 1103-1129, 09.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:14387. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ekkehart Schlicht)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.