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Nonlinear Forecasting Using Large Datasets: Evidences on US and Euro Area Economies



The primary objective of this paper is to propose two nonlinear extensions for macroeconomic forecasting using large datasets. First, we propose an alternative technique for factor estimation, i.e., kernel principal component analysis, which allows the factors to have a nonlinear relationship to the input variables. Second, we propose artificial neural networks as an alternative to the factor augmented linear forecasting equation. These two extensions allow us to determine whether, in general, there is empirical evidence in favor of nonlinear methods and, in particular, to verify whether the nonlinearity occurs in the estimation of the factors or in the functional form that links the target variable to the factors. In an effort to verify the empirical performances of the methods proposed, we conducted several pseudo forecasting exercises on the industrial production index and consumer price index for the Euro area and US economies. These methods were employed to construct the forecasts at 1-, 3-, 6-, and 12-month horizons using a large dataset containing 259 predictors for the Euro area and 131 predictors for the US economy. The results obtained from the empirical study suggest that the estimation of nonlinear factors, using kernel principal components, significantly improves the quality of forecasts compared to the linear method, while the results for artificial neural networks have the same forecasting ability as the factor augmented linear forecasting equation.

Suggested Citation

  • Alessandro Giovannelli, 2012. "Nonlinear Forecasting Using Large Datasets: Evidences on US and Euro Area Economies," CEIS Research Paper 255, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 08 Nov 2012.
  • Handle: RePEc:rtv:ceisrp:255

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. Exterkate, Peter & Groenen, Patrick J.F. & Heij, Christiaan & van Dijk, Dick, 2016. "Nonlinear forecasting with many predictors using kernel ridge regression," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 736-753.
    3. Shintani, Mototsugu, 2005. "Nonlinear Forecasting Analysis Using Diffusion Indexes: An Application to Japan," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 37(3), pages 517-538, June.
    4. Hansen, Peter Reinhard, 2005. "A Test for Superior Predictive Ability," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 23, pages 365-380, October.
    5. Jörg Breitung & Sandra Eickmeier, 2006. "Dynamic factor models," AStA Advances in Statistical Analysis, Springer;German Statistical Society, vol. 90(1), pages 27-42, March.
    6. Sandra Eickmeier & Christina Ziegler, 2008. "How successful are dynamic factor models at forecasting output and inflation? A meta-analytic approach," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(3), pages 237-265.
    7. Peter R. Hansen & Asger Lunde & James M. Nason, 2011. "The Model Confidence Set," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(2), pages 453-497, March.
    8. Bai, Jushan & Ng, Serena, 2008. "Forecasting economic time series using targeted predictors," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 146(2), pages 304-317, October.
    9. Jean Boivin & Serena Ng, 2005. "Understanding and Comparing Factor-Based Forecasts," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 1(3), December.
    10. Filippo Altissimo & Riccardo Cristadoro & Mario Forni & Marco Lippi & Giovanni Veronese, 2010. "New Eurocoin: Tracking Economic Growth in Real Time," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 1024-1034, November.
    11. Antonello D’ Agostino & Domenico Giannone, 2012. "Comparing Alternative Predictors Based on Large‐Panel Factor Models," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 74(2), pages 306-326, April.
    12. White, Halbert, 2006. "Approximate Nonlinear Forecasting Methods," Handbook of Economic Forecasting, Elsevier.
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    More about this item


    Kernel Principal Component Analysis; Large Dataset; Artificial Neural Networks; QuickNet; Forecasting;

    JEL classification:

    • C45 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Neural Networks and Related Topics
    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods
    • C13 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Estimation: General
    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

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