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Outperforming IMF Forecasts by the Use of Leading Indicators

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  • Drechsel, Katja
  • Giesen, Sebastian
  • Lindner, Axel

Abstract

This study analyzes the performance of the IMF World Economic Outlook forecasts for world output and the aggregates of both the advanced economies and the emerging and developing economies. With a focus on the forecast for the current and the next year, we examine whether IMF forecasts can be improved by using leading indicators with monthly updates. Using a real-time dataset for GDP and for the indicators we find that some simple single-indicator forecasts on the basis of data that are available at higher frequency can significantly outperform the IMF forecasts if the publication of the Outlook is only a few months old.

Suggested Citation

  • Drechsel, Katja & Giesen, Sebastian & Lindner, Axel, 2014. "Outperforming IMF Forecasts by the Use of Leading Indicators," IWH Discussion Papers 4/2014, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:iwhdps:iwh-4-14
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Katja Drechsel & Laurent Maurin, 2011. "Flow of conjunctural information and forecast of euro area economic activity," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(3), pages 336-354, April.
    2. repec:wly:japmet:v:24:y:2009:i:7:p:1187-1206 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Arora, Harjit K. & Smyth, David J., 1990. "Forecasting the developing world : An accuracy analysis of the IMF's forecasts," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 393-400, October.
    4. Gerard van Welzenis & Wim Suyker, 2005. "Explanatory note on the CPB world trade series," CPB Memorandum 116, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    5. Michael J. Artis, 1996. "How Accurate Are the Imf's Short-Term Forecasts? Another Examination of the World Economic Outlook," IMF Working Papers 96/89, International Monetary Fund.
    6. Katja Drechsel & Rolf Scheufele, 2012. "The Financial Crisis from a Forecaster’s Perspective," Credit and Capital Markets, Credit and Capital Markets, vol. 45(1), pages 1-26.
    7. Audrone Jakaitiene & Stephane Dees, 2012. "Forecasting the World Economy in the Short Term," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(3), pages 331-350, March.
    8. Allan Timmermann, 2007. "An Evaluation of the World Economic Outlook Forecasts," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 54(1), pages 1-33, May.
    9. repec:zbw:iwhdps:5-11 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Laura Gonzalez Cabanillas & Alessio Terzi, 2012. "The accuracy of the European Commission's forecasts re-examined," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 476, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    11. Michael P. Clements & Ana Beatriz Galvão, 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, November.
    12. G. Elliott & C. Granger & A. Timmermann (ed.), 2006. "Handbook of Economic Forecasting," Handbook of Economic Forecasting, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 1, number 1.
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    Cited by:

    1. Camacho, Maximo & Martinez-Martin, Jaime, 2015. "Monitoring the world business cycle," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 617-625.
    2. repec:bla:worlde:v:42:y:2019:i:3:p:846-875 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Laurent Ferrara & Clément Marsilli, 2019. "Nowcasting global economic growth: A factor‐augmented mixed‐frequency approach," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(3), pages 846-875, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    IMF WEO forecasts; leading indicators; real-time data;

    JEL classification:

    • C52 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Evaluation, Validation, and Selection
    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods
    • E02 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Institutions and the Macroeconomy
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E37 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • O19 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations

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