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A monthly consumption indicator for Germany based on internet search query data

  • Torsten Schmidt
  • Simeon Vosen

    ()

In this study we introduce a new monthly indicator for private consumption in Germany based on search query time series provided by Google Trends. The indicator is based on unobserved factors extracted from a set of consumption-related search categories of the Google Trends application Insights for Search. The predictive performance of the indicator is assessed in real time relative to the European Commission’s consumer confidence indicator and the European Commission’s retail trade confidence indicator. In out-of-sample nowcasting experiments the Google indicator outperformed the surveybased indicators. In comparison to the other indicators, the new indicator also provided substantial predictive information on consumption beyond that already captured in other macroeconomic variables.

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File URL: http://repec.rwi-essen.de/files/REP_10_208.pdf
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Paper provided by Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen in its series Ruhr Economic Papers with number 0208.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2010
Handle: RePEc:rwi:repape:0208
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  1. Nikos Askitas & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2009. "Google Econometrics and Unemployment Forecasting," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 899, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  2. Litterman, Robert B, 1983. "A Random Walk, Markov Model for the Distribution of Time Series," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 1(2), pages 169-173, April.
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  5. Niek J. Nahuis & W. Jos Jansen, 2003. "Which Survey Indicators Are Useful for Monitoring Consumption? Evidence fron European Countries," Macroeconomics 0309013, EconWPA.
  6. Schmidt, Torsten & Vosen, Simeon, 2009. "Forecasting Private Consumption: Survey-based Indicators vs. Google Trends," Ruhr Economic Papers 155, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
  7. repec:zbw:rwirep:0155 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Jeffrey C. Fuhrer, 1993. "What role does consumer sentiment play in the U.S. macroeconomy?," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Jan, pages 32-44.
  9. Filippo Moauro & Giovanni Savio, 2005. "Temporal disaggregation using multivariate structural time series models," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 8(2), pages 214-234, 07.
  10. Croushore, Dean, 2005. "Do consumer-confidence indexes help forecast consumer spending in real time?," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 435-450, December.
  11. Jason Bram & Sydney Ludvigson, 1998. "Does consumer confidence forecast household expenditure? a sentiment index horse race," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Jun, pages 59-78.
  12. Chow, Gregory C & Lin, An-loh, 1971. "Best Linear Unbiased Interpolation, Distribution, and Extrapolation of Time Series by Related Series," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 53(4), pages 372-75, November.
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  14. Sydney C. Ludvigson, 2004. "Consumer Confidence and Consumer Spending," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(2), pages 29-50, Spring.
  15. Stock, James H & Watson, Mark W, 2002. "Macroeconomic Forecasting Using Diffusion Indexes," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(2), pages 147-162, April.
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