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Factor-MIDAS for now- and forecasting with ragged-edge data: a model comparison for German GDP

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  • Marcellino, Massimiliano
  • Schumacher, Christian

Abstract

This paper compares different ways to estimate the current state of the economy using factor models that can handle unbalanced datasets. Due to the different release lags of business cycle indicators, data unbalancedness often emerges at the end of multivariate samples, which is sometimes referred to as the 'ragged edge' of the data. Using a large monthly dataset of the German economy, we compare the performance of different factor models in the presence of the ragged edge: static and dynamic principal components based on realigned data, the Expectation-Maximisation (EM) algorithm and the Kalman smoother in a state-space model context. The monthly factors are used to estimate current quarter GDP, called the 'nowcast', using different versions of what we call factor-based mixed-data sampling (Factor-MIDAS) approaches. We compare all possible combinations of factor estimation methods and Factor-MIDAS projections with respect to nowcast performance. Additionally, we compare the performance of the nowcast factor models with the performance of quarterly factor models based on time-aggregated and thus balanced data, which neglect the most timely observations of business cycle indicators at the end of the sample. Our empirical findings show that the factor estimation methods don't differ much with respect to nowcasting accuracy. Concerning the projections, the most parsimonious MIDAS projection performs best overall. Finally, quarterly models are in general outperformed by the nowcast factor models that can exploit ragged-edge data.

Suggested Citation

  • Marcellino, Massimiliano & Schumacher, Christian, 2007. "Factor-MIDAS for now- and forecasting with ragged-edge data: a model comparison for German GDP," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2007,34, Deutsche Bundesbank.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:bubdp1:7034
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    Cited by:

    1. Antipa, Pamfili & Barhoumi, Karim & Brunhes-Lesage, Véronique & Darné, Olivier, 2012. "Nowcasting German GDP: A comparison of bridge and factor models," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 864-878.
    2. Dominique Guégan & Patrick Rakotomarolahy, 2010. "A Short Note on the Nowcasting and the Forecasting of Euro-area GDP Using Non-Parametric Techniques," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 30(1), pages 508-518.
    3. Banerjee, Anindya & Marcellino, Massimiliano & Masten, Igor, 2014. "Forecasting with factor-augmented error correction models," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 589-612.
    4. Kuzin, Vladimir N. & Marcellino, Massimiliano & Schumacher, Christian, 2009. "Pooling versus model selection for nowcasting with many predictors: an application to German GDP," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2009,03, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    5. Andrea Carriero & Todd E. Clark & Massimiliano Marcellino, 2015. "Realtime nowcasting with a Bayesian mixed frequency model with stochastic volatility," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 178(4), pages 837-862, October.
    6. Martha Banbura & Domenico Giannone & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2010. "Nowcasting," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2010-021, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    7. Bouwman, Kees E. & Jacobs, Jan P.A.M., 2011. "Forecasting with real-time macroeconomic data: The ragged-edge problem and revisions," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 784-792.
    8. Andrade, Philippe & Fourel, Valère & Ghysels, Eric & Idier, Julien, 2014. "The financial content of inflation risks in the euro area," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 648-659.
    9. Anindya Banerjee & Massimiliano Marcellino & Igor Masten, 2010. "Forecasting with Factor-augmented Error Correction," Discussion Papers 09-06r, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
    10. Bellégo, C. & Ferrara, L., 2009. "Forecasting Euro-area recessions using time-varying binary response models for financial," Working papers 259, Banque de France.
    11. Claudia FORONI & Massimiliano MARCELLINO, 2012. "A Comparison of Mixed Frequency Approaches for Modelling Euro Area Macroeconomic Variables," Economics Working Papers ECO2012/07, European University Institute.
    12. Buss, Ginters, 2010. "A note on GDP now-/forecasting with dynamic versus static factor models along a business cycle," MPRA Paper 22147, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Schumacher Christian, 2011. "Forecasting with Factor Models Estimated on Large Datasets: A Review of the Recent Literature and Evidence for German GDP," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 231(1), pages 28-49, February.
    14. Guido Bulligan & Massimiliano Marcellino & Fabrizio Venditti, 2012. "Forecasting economic activity with higher frequency targeted predictors," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 847, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    15. Laurent Ferrara & Clément Marsilli, 2013. "Financial variables as leading indicators of GDP growth: Evidence from a MIDAS approach during the Great Recession," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(3), pages 233-237, February.
    16. Chauvet, Marcelle & Potter, Simon, 2013. "Forecasting Output," Handbook of Economic Forecasting, Elsevier.
    17. Laurent Ferrara & Dominique Guégan & Patrick Rakotomarolahy, 2010. "GDP nowcasting with ragged-edge data: a semi-parametric modeling," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(1-2), pages 186-199.
    18. Kuzin, Vladimir & Marcellino, Massimiliano & Schumacher, Christian, 2011. "MIDAS vs. mixed-frequency VAR: Nowcasting GDP in the euro area," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 529-542.
    19. Massimiliano Marcellino & Mario Porqueddu & Fabrizio Venditti, 2016. "Short-Term GDP Forecasting With a Mixed-Frequency Dynamic Factor Model With Stochastic Volatility," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(1), pages 118-127, January.
    20. Pierre Guérin & Massimiliano Marcellino, 2013. "Markov-Switching MIDAS Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(1), pages 45-56, January.
    21. Lenza Michele & Warmedinger Thomas, 2011. "A Factor Model for Euro-area Short-term Inflation Analysis," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 231(1), pages 50-62, February.
    22. Chen, Pu, 2009. "A Note on Updating Forecasts When New Information Arrives between Two Periods," Economics Discussion Papers 2009-22, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    23. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:30:y:2010:i:1:p:508-518 is not listed on IDEAS
    24. Smith Paul, 2016. "Nowcasting UK GDP during the depression," Working Papers 1606, University of Strathclyde Business School, Department of Economics.
    25. Kuzin, Vladimir N. & Marcellino, Massimiliano & Schumacher, Christian, 2009. "MIDAS versus mixed-frequency VAR: nowcasting GDP in the euro area," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2009,07, Deutsche Bundesbank.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    MIDAS; large factor models; nowcasting; mixed-frequency data; missing values;

    JEL classification:

    • E37 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods

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