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MIDAS versus mixed-frequency VAR: nowcasting GDP in the euro area

  • Kuzin, Vladimir N.
  • Marcellino, Massimiliano
  • Schumacher, Christian

This paper compares the mixed-data sampling (MIDAS) and mixed-frequency VAR (MF-VAR) approaches to model speci…cation in the presence of mixed-frequency data, e.g., monthly and quarterly series. MIDAS leads to parsimonious models based on exponential lag polynomials for the coe¢ cients, whereas MF-VAR does not restrict the dynamics and therefore can su¤er from the curse of dimensionality. But if the restrictions imposed by MIDAS are too stringent, the MF-VAR can perform better. Hence, it is di¢ cult to rank MIDAS and MF-VAR a priori, and their relative ranking is better evaluated empirically. In this paper, we compare their performance in a relevant case for policy making, i.e., nowcasting and forecasting quarterly GDP growth in the euro area, on a monthly basis and using a set of 20 monthly indicators. It turns out that the two approaches are more complementary than substitutes, since MF-VAR tends to perform better for longer horizons, whereas MIDAS for shorter horizons.

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Paper provided by Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre in its series Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies with number 2009,07.

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Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:zbw:bubdp1:7576
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  1. 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, Research Centre.
  2. Massimiliano Marcellino & James Stock & Mark Watson, 2005. "A Comparison of Direct and Iterated Multistep AR Methods for Forecasting Macroeconomic Time Series," Working Papers 285, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  3. Bernanke, Ben S. & Boivin, Jean, 2003. "Monetary policy in a data-rich environment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 525-546, April.
  4. Eric Ghysels & Pedro Santa-Clara & Rossen Valkanov, 2004. "Predicting Volatility: Getting the Most out of Return Data Sampled at Different Frequencies," CIRANO Working Papers 2004s-19, CIRANO.
  5. Clements, Michael P & Galvão, Ana Beatriz, 2008. "Macroeconomic Forecasting With Mixed-Frequency Data," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 26, pages 546-554.
  6. Giannone, Domenico & Reichlin, Lucrezia & Small, David, 2008. "Nowcasting: The real-time informational content of macroeconomic data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 665-676, May.
  7. Eric Ghysels & Arthur Sinko & Rossen Valkanov, 2007. "MIDAS Regressions: Further Results and New Directions," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(1), pages 53-90.
  8. Kuzin, Vladimir & Marcellino, Massimiliano & Schumacher, Christian, 2009. "Pooling versus model selection for nowcasting with many predictors: An application to German GDP," CEPR Discussion Papers 7197, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Banerjee, Anindya & Marcellino, Massimiliano & Masten, Igor, 2003. "Leading Indicators for Euro Area Inflation and GDP Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 3893, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Timmermann, Allan, 2006. "Forecast Combinations," Handbook of Economic Forecasting, Elsevier.
  11. Eric Ghysels & Pedro Santa-Clara & Rossen Valkanov, 2004. "The MIDAS Touch: Mixed Data Sampling Regression Models," CIRANO Working Papers 2004s-20, CIRANO.
  12. Stefan Mittnik & Peter A. Zadrozny, 2004. "Forecasting Quarterly German GDP at Monthly Intervals Using Monthly IFO Business Conditions Data," CESifo Working Paper Series 1203, CESifo Group Munich.
  13. Michael P. Clements & Ana Beatriz Galvao, 2009. "Forecasting US output growth using leading indicators: an appraisal using MIDAS models," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(7), pages 1187-1206.
  14. Schumacher, Christian & Breitung, Jörg, 2008. "Real-time forecasting of German GDP based on a large factor model with monthly and quarterly data," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 386-398.
  15. Guillaume Chevillon & David F. Hendry, 2004. "Non-Parametric Direct Multi-step Estimation for Forecasting Economic Processes," Economics Papers 2004-W12, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  16. Roberto S. Mariano & Yasutomo Murasawa, 2003. "A new coincident index of business cycles based on monthly and quarterly series," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(4), pages 427-443.
  17. Domenico Giannone & Lucrezia Reichlin & David Small, 2008. "Nowcasting: the real time informational content of macroeconomic data releases," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/6409, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  18. Ghysels, Eric & Santa-Clara, Pedro & Valkanov, Rossen, 2004. "The MIDAS Touch: Mixed Data Sampling Regression Models," University of California at Los Angeles, Anderson Graduate School of Management qt9mf223rs, Anderson Graduate School of Management, UCLA.
  19. Marcellino, Massimiliano & Musso, Alberto, 2010. "Real time estimates of the euro area output gap: reliability and forecasting performance," Working Paper Series 1157, European Central Bank.
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