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The Real-time Forecasting Performance of Phillips Curves

Author

Listed:
  • Tim Robinson

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)

  • Andrew Stone

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)

  • Marileze van Zyl

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)

Abstract

Analysts typically use a variety of techniques to forecast inflation. These include both ‘bottom-up’ approaches, for near-term forecasting, as well as econometric methods (such as mark-up models of inflation, which have been found to perform quite well for Australia – see de Brouwer and Ericsson (1998)). One of the econometric approaches to inflation forecasting which is sometimes considered is the use of Phillips curves based on estimates of the output gap. This paper suggests, however, that the real-time capacity of such Phillips curves to forecast inflation is limited, relative even to such simple benchmark forecasting approaches as an autoregressive (AR) model of inflation or a random walk assumption. It appears that the lack of precision with which output-gap-based Phillips curves can be estimated in real time limits their usefulness as a means of forecasting inflation in isolation. Phillips curve-based forecasts may, however, perform a little better than AR model-based ones in at least predicting whether inflation will increase or decrease from its current level. Moreover, combining Phillips curve-based forecasts with those from simple, alternative approaches does seem to offer some scope for improving the real-time forecast accuracy of the latter. These observations suggest that, in spite of their generally disappointing performance as a means of forecasting inflation in isolation, output-gap-based Phillips curves may continue to be useful in real time – as a tool for conditioning gap estimates within a multivariate filtering framework, and as a possible complement to other, alternative inflation forecasting approaches.

Suggested Citation

  • Tim Robinson & Andrew Stone & Marileze van Zyl, 2003. "The Real-time Forecasting Performance of Phillips Curves," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2003-12, Reserve Bank of Australia.
  • Handle: RePEc:rba:rbardp:rdp2003-12
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    File URL: http://www.rba.gov.au/publications/rdp/2003/pdf/rdp2003-12.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Nelson, Edward & Nikolov, Kalin, 2003. "UK inflation in the 1970s and 1980s: the role of output gap mismeasurement," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 353-370.
    2. Athanasios Orphanides & Simon van Norden, 2002. "The Unreliability of Output-Gap Estimates in Real Time," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(4), pages 569-583, November.
    3. Gruen, David & Pagan, Adrian & Thompson, Christopher, 1999. "The Phillips curve in Australia," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 223-258, October.
    4. Christopher A. Sims, 2002. "The Role of Models and Probabilities in the Monetary Policy Process," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 33(2), pages 1-62.
    5. Yock Y. Chong & David F. Hendry, 1986. "Econometric Evaluation of Linear Macro-Economic Models," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(4), pages 671-690.
    6. David Gruen & Tim Robinson & Andrew Stone, 2002. "Output Gaps in Real Time: Are They Reliable Enough to Use for Monetary Policy?," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2002-06, Reserve Bank of Australia.
    7. West, Kenneth D., 2001. "Encompassing tests when no model is encompassing," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 287-308, November.
    8. Meredith Beechey & Nargis Bharucha & Adam Cagliarini & David Gruen & Christopher Thompson, 2000. "A Small Model of the Australian Macroeconomy," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2000-05, Reserve Bank of Australia.
    9. Holden, K & Peel, D A, 1990. "On Testing for Unbiasedness and Efficiency of Forecasts," The Manchester School of Economic & Social Studies, University of Manchester, vol. 58(2), pages 120-127, June.
    10. Andrew Stone & Sharon Wardrop, 2002. "Real-time National Accounts Data," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2002-05, Reserve Bank of Australia.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Isabell Koske & Nigel Pain, 2008. "The Usefulness of Output Gaps for Policy Analysis," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 621, OECD Publishing.
    2. Andreas Billmeier, 2009. "Ghostbusting: which output gap really matters?," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 391-419, December.
    3. Paloviita, Maritta & Mayes, David, 2005. "The use of real-time information in Phillips-curve relationships for the euro area," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 415-434, December.
    4. Arnulfo Rodríguez & Pedro N. Rodríguez, 2007. "Recursive Thick Modeling and the Choice of Monetary Policy in Mexico," Working Papers 2007-04, Banco de México.
    5. Matheson, Troy D., 2008. "Phillips curve forecasting in a small open economy," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 98(2), pages 161-166, February.
    6. David Gruen & Tim Robinson & Andrew Stone, 2005. "Output Gaps In Real Time: How Reliable Are They?," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 81(252), pages 6-18, March.
    7. Medel, Carlos A., 2015. "Forecasting Inflation with the Hybrid New Keynesian Phillips Curve: A Compact-Scale Global VAR Approach," MPRA Paper 67081, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Ivan Kitov & Oleg Kitov, 2011. "The Australian Phillips curve and more," Papers 1102.1851, arXiv.org.
    9. L Christopher Plantier & Ozer Karagedikli, 2005. "Do so-called multivariate filters have better revision properties? An empirical analysis," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 250, Society for Computational Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    monetary policy; forecasting inflation; output gaps; real-time data;

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E37 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General

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