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Real-time forecasting in a data-rich environment

  • LIEBERMANN, JOELLE

This paper assesses the ability of different models to forecast key real and nominal U.S. monthly macroeconomic variables in a data-rich environment and from the perspective of a real-time forecaster, i.e. taking into account the real-time data revisions process and data flow. We find that for the real variables predictability is confined over the recent recession/crisis period. This is in line with the findings of D’Agostino and Giannone (2012) that gains in relative performance of models using large datasets over univariate models are driven by downturn periods which are characterized by higher comovements. Regarding inflation, results are stable across time, but predictability is mainly found at the very short-term horizons. Inflation is known to be hard to forecast, but by exploiting timely information one obtains gains at nowcasting and forecasting one-month ahead, especially with Bayesian VARs. Furthermore, for both real and nominal variables, the direct pooling of information using a high dimensional model (dynamic factor model or Bayesian VAR) which takes into account the cross-correlation between the variables and efficiently deals with the “ragged edge”structure of the dataset, yields more accurate forecasts than the indirect pooling of bi-variate forecasts/models.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/39452/1/MPRA_paper_39452.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 39452.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:39452
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  1. Jon Faust & Simon Gilchrist & Jonathan H. Wright & Egon Zakrajsek, 2012. "Credit spreads as predictors of real-time economic activity: a Bayesian Model-Averaging approach," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2012-77, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. D'Agostino, Antonello & Domenico, Giannone & Surico, Paolo, 2006. "(Un)Predictability and Macroeconomic Stability," Research Technical Papers 5/RT/06, Central Bank of Ireland.
  3. Giannone, Domenico & Lenza, Michele & Momferatou, Daphne & Onorante, Luca, 2014. "Short-term inflation projections: A Bayesian vector autoregressive approach," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 635-644.
  4. Jungbacker, B. & Koopman, S.J. & van der Wel, M., 2011. "Maximum likelihood estimation for dynamic factor models with missing data," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 1358-1368, August.
  5. Bańbura, Marta & Rünstler, Gerhard, 2011. "A look into the factor model black box: Publication lags and the role of hard and soft data in forecasting GDP," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 333-346.
  6. Domenico Giannone & Lucrezia Reichlin & David Small, 2005. "Nowcasting GDP and inflation: the real-time informational content of macroeconomic data releases," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2005-42, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  7. Liebermann, Joelle, 2010. "Real-time nowcasting of GDP: Factor model versus professional forecasters," MPRA Paper 28819, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Forni, Mario & Hallin, Marc & Lippi, Marco & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 2002. "Do Financial Variables Help Forecasting Inflation and Real Activity in the Euro Area?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3146, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Chanont Banternghansa & Michael W. McCracken, 2011. "Real-time forecast averaging with ALFRED," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jan, pages 49-66.
  10. Catherine Doz & Domenico Giannone & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2012. "A Quasi–Maximum Likelihood Approach for Large, Approximate Dynamic Factor Models," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(4), pages 1014-1024, November.
  11. De Mol, Christine & Giannone, Domenico & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 2006. "Forecasting using a large number of predictors: is Bayesian regression a valid alternative to principal components?," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2006,32, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  12. D’Agostino, Antonello & Giannone, Domenico, 2006. "Comparing alternative predictors based on large-panel factor models," Working Paper Series 0680, European Central Bank.
  13. D'Agostino, Antonello & Whelan, Karl, 2007. "Federal Reserve Information During the Great Moderation," Research Technical Papers 8/RT/07, Central Bank of Ireland.
  14. Watson, Mark W. & Engle, Robert F., 1983. "Alternative algorithms for the estimation of dynamic factor, mimic and varying coefficient regression models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 385-400, December.
  15. Bańbura, Marta & Modugno, Michele, 2010. "Maximum likelihood estimation of factor models on data sets with arbitrary pattern of missing data," Working Paper Series 1189, European Central Bank.
  16. Kadiyala, K. Rao & Karlsson, Sune, 1994. "Numerical Aspects of Bayesian VAR-modeling," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 12, Stockholm School of Economics.
  17. Daniel F. Waggoner & Tao Zha, 1999. "Conditional Forecasts In Dynamic Multivariate Models," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 639-651, November.
  18. Doz, Catherine & Giannone, Domenico & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 2011. "A two-step estimator for large approximate dynamic factor models based on Kalman filtering," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 164(1), pages 188-205, September.
  19. Forni, Mario & Hallin, Marc & Lippi, Marco & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 2005. "The Generalized Dynamic Factor Model: One-Sided Estimation and Forecasting," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 100, pages 830-840, September.
  20. Aiolfi, Marco & Timmermann, Allan, 2006. "Persistence in forecasting performance and conditional combination strategies," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 135(1-2), pages 31-53.
  21. Domenico Giannone & Martha Banbura & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2008. "Bayesian VARs with large panels," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/13388, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  22. Heij, Christiaan & van Dijk, Dick & Groenen, Patrick J.F., 2011. "Real-time macroeconomic forecasting with leading indicators: An empirical comparison," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 466-481, April.
  23. 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.).
  24. Mark W. Watson & James H. Stock, 2004. "Combination forecasts of output growth in a seven-country data set," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(6), pages 405-430.
  25. Thomas Doan & Robert B. Litterman & Christopher A. Sims, 1983. "Forecasting and Conditional Projection Using Realistic Prior Distributions," NBER Working Papers 1202, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Mario Forni & Marc Hallin & Lucrezia Reichlin & Marco Lippi, 2000. "The generalised dynamic factor model: identification and estimation," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/10143, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  27. Marta Bańbura, 2008. "Large Bayesian VARs," 2008 Meeting Papers 334, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  28. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2010. "Modeling Inflation After the Crisis," NBER Working Papers 16488, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  29. Marcellino, Massimiliano & Stock, James H & Watson, Mark W, 2005. "A Comparison of Direct and Iterated Multistep AR Methods for Forecasting Macroeconomic Time Series," CEPR Discussion Papers 4976, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  31. Sims, Christopher A & Zha, Tao, 1998. "Bayesian Methods for Dynamic Multivariate Models," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(4), pages 949-68, November.
  32. Litterman, Robert B, 1986. "Forecasting with Bayesian Vector Autoregressions-Five Years of Experience," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 4(1), pages 25-38, January.
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  34. Tatevik Sekhposyan & Barbara Rossi, 2008. "Has modelsí forecasting performance for US output growth and inflation changed over time, and when?," Working Papers 09-02, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  35. repec:ulb:ulbeco:2013/6411 is not listed on IDEAS
  36. Rossi, Barbara & Sekhposyan, Tatevik, 2010. "Have economic models' forecasting performance for US output growth and inflation changed over time, and when?," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 808-835, October.
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