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What Determines the ZEW Indicator?

  • Hüfner, Felix P.
  • Lahl, David

This paper analyzes which factors are driving the ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment. Using the results of a poll among survey participants as well as Granger causality tests we identify three groups of influence factors: other sentiment indicators, financial variables and real economy data. In a second step these factors are used to estimate out-of-sample forecasts for the ZEW Indicator. We find that a simple model that includes German manufacturing order data, the German yield structure and the US Consumer Confidence indicator as explanatory variables is able to outperform a naive univariate benchmark model as well as the consensus forecast for the ZEW Indicator as published by news agencies.

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Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 03-48.

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Date of creation: 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:1357
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  1. Ulrich Fritsche & Sabine Stephan, 2000. "Leading Indicators of German Business Cycles: An Assessment of Properties," Macroeconomics 0004005, EconWPA.
  2. Denis Kwiatkowski & Peter C.B. Phillips & Peter Schmidt, 1991. "Testing the Null Hypothesis of Stationarity Against the Alternative of a Unit Root: How Sure Are We That Economic Time Series Have a Unit Root?," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 979, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  3. Newey, Whitney & West, Kenneth, 2014. "A simple, positive semi-definite, heteroscedasticity and autocorrelation consistent covariance matrix," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 33(1), pages 125-132.
  4. Ulrich Fritsche, 1999. "Vorlaufeigenschaften von Ifo-Indikatoren für Westdeutschland," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 179, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  5. Schröder, Michael & Hüfner, Felix P., 2002. "Forecasting economic activity in Germany: how useful are sentiment indicators?," ZEW Discussion Papers 02-56, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
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