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Bench Mark Revisions and the U.S. Personal Saving Rate

  • Leonard I. Nakamura

    ()

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Phildelphia)

  • Tom Stark
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    Initially published estimates of the personal saving rate from 1965 Q3 to 1999 Q2, which averaged 5.3 percent, have been revised up 2.8 percentage points to 8.1 percent, as we document. We show that much of the initial variations in personal saving rate across time was pure noise. Nominal disposable personal income has been revised upward an average of 8.3 percent: one dollar in twelve was originally missing. We use both conventional and real-time estimates of the personal saving rate to forecast real disposable income, gross domestic product, and personal consumption and show that using the personal saving rate in real-time would have almost invariably made forecasts worse. Thus while the personal saving rate may contain information about later consumption once we know the true saving rate, as Campbell (1987) and Ireland(1995) have shown, as a practical matter, noise in the U.S. personal saving rate makes it uninformative for forecasting purposes

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    File URL: http://repec.org/sed2006/up.17805.1138651327.pdf
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    Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2006 Meeting Papers with number 123.

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    Date of creation: 03 Dec 2006
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    Handle: RePEc:red:sed006:123
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Christian Zimmermann Economic Research Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis PO Box 442 St. Louis MO 63166-0442 USA
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    1. N. Gregory Mankiw & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1986. "News or Noise? An Analysis of GNP Revisions," NBER Working Papers 1939, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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