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Forecasting national activity using lots of international predictors: an application to New Zealand

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  • Eickmeier, Sandra
  • Ng, Tim

Abstract

We look at how large international datasets can improve forecasts of national activity. We use the case of New Zealand, an archetypal small open economy. We apply "data-rich" factor and shrinkage methods to tackle the problem of efficiently handling hundreds of predictor data series from many countries. The methods covered are principal components, targeted predictors, weighted principal components, partial least squares, elastic net and ridge regression. Using these methods, we assess the marginal predictive content of international data for New Zealand GDP growth. We find that exploiting a large number of international predictors can improve forecasts of our target variable, compared to more traditional models based on small datasets. This is in spite of New Zealand survey data capturing a substantial proportion of the predictive information in the international data. The largest forecasting accuracy gains from including international predictors are at longer forecast horizons. The forecasting performance achievable with the data-rich methods differs widely, with shrinkage methods and partial least squares performing best. We also assess the type of international data that contains the most predictive information for New Zealand growth over our sample.

Suggested Citation

  • Eickmeier, Sandra & Ng, Tim, 2009. "Forecasting national activity using lots of international predictors: an application to New Zealand," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2009,11, Deutsche Bundesbank.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:bubdp1:7580
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    Cited by:

    1. Eickmeier, Sandra & Ng, Tim, 2011. "Forecasting national activity using lots of international predictors: An application to New Zealand," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 496-511, April.
    2. Eickmeier, Sandra & Ng, Tim, 2011. "How do credit supply shocks propagate internationally? A GVAR approach," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2011,27, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    3. Julieta Fuentes & Pilar Poncela & Julio Rodríguez, 2015. "Sparse Partial Least Squares in Time Series for Macroeconomic Forecasting," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(4), pages 576-595, June.
    4. Chudik, Alexander & Grossman, Valerie & Pesaran, M. Hashem, 2016. "A multi-country approach to forecasting output growth using PMIs," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 192(2), pages 349-365.
    5. Halberstadt, Arne & Stapf, Jelena, 2012. "An affine multifactor model with macro factors for the German term structure: Changing results during the recent crises," Discussion Papers 25/2012, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    6. Schumacher, Christian, 2010. "Factor forecasting using international targeted predictors: The case of German GDP," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 107(2), pages 95-98, May.
    7. Jack Fosten, 2016. "Model selection with factors and variables," University of East Anglia School of Economics Working Paper Series 2016-07, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    8. Bušs, Ginters, 2009. "Comparing forecasts of Latvia's GDP using simple seasonal ARIMA models and direct versus indirect approach," MPRA Paper 16684, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Cubadda, Gianluca & Guardabascio, Barbara, 2012. "A medium-N approach to macroeconomic forecasting," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 1099-1105.
    10. Robert Lehmann & Klaus Wohlrabe, 2015. "Forecasting GDP at the Regional Level with Many Predictors," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 16(2), pages 226-254, May.
    11. Kopoin, Alexandre & Moran, Kevin & Paré, Jean-Pierre, 2013. "Forecasting regional GDP with factor models: How useful are national and international data?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 121(2), pages 267-270.
    12. Duo Qin & Qingchao Wang, 2016. "Predictive Macro-Impacts of PLS-based Financial Conditions Indices: An Application to the USA," Working Papers 201, Department of Economics, SOAS, University of London, UK.

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    Keywords

    Forecasting; factor models; shrinkage methods; principal components; targeted predictors; weighted principal components; partial least squares;

    JEL classification:

    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods
    • F47 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

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