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Forecasting Short-Term Real GDP Growth in the Euro Area and Japan Using Unrestricted MIDAS Regressions

Staff Discussion Paper 2014-3 Maxime Leboeuf, Louis Morel
In this paper, the authors develop a new tool to improve the short-term forecasting of real GDP growth in the euro area and Japan. This new tool, which uses unrestricted mixed-data sampling (U-MIDAS) regressions, allows an evaluation of the usefulness of a wide range of indicators in predicting short-term real GDP growth.

Perceived Inflation Persistence

Staff Working Paper 2013-43 Monica Jain
The Survey of Professional Forecasters (SPF) has had vast influence on research related to better understanding expectation formation and the behaviour of macroeconomic agents. Inflation expectations, in particular, have received a great deal of attention, since they play a crucial role in determining real interest rates, the expectations-augmented Phillips curve and monetary policy.
August 15, 2013

CSI: A Model for Tracking Short-Term Growth in Canadian Real GDP

Canada’s Short-Term Indicator (CSI) is a new model that exploits the information content of 32 indicators to produce daily updates to forecasts of quarterly real GDP growth. The model is a data-intensive, judgment-free approach to short-term forecasting. While CSI’s forecasts at the start of the quarter are not very accurate, the model’s accuracy increases appreciably as more information becomes available. CSI is the latest addition to a wide range of models and information sources that the Bank of Canada uses, combined with expert judgment, to produce its short-term forecasts.
August 15, 2013

The Accuracy of Short-Term Forecast Combinations

This article examines whether combining forecasts of real GDP from different models can improve forecast accuracy and considers which model-combination methods provide the best performance. In line with previous literature, the authors find that combining forecasts generally improves forecast accuracy relative to various benchmarks. Unlike several previous studies, however, they find that, rather than assigning equal weights to each model, unequal weighting based on the past forecast performance of models tends to improve accuracy when forecasts across models are substantially different.
August 15, 2013

Monitoring Short-Term Economic Developments in Foreign Economies

The Bank of Canada uses several short-term forecasting models for the monitoring of key foreign economies - the United States, the euro area, Japan and China. The design of the forecasting models used for each region is influenced by the level of detail required, as well as the timeliness and volatility of data. Forecasts from different models are typically combined to mitigate model uncertainty, and judgment is applied to the model forecasts to incorporate information that is not directly reflected in the most recent indicators.

Extracting Information from the Business Outlook Survey Using Statistical Approaches

Staff Discussion Paper 2012-8 Lise Pichette
Since the autumn of 1997, the regional offices of the Bank of Canada have conducted quarterly consultations with businesses across Canada. These consultations, summarized in the Business Outlook Survey (BOS), are structured around a survey questionnaire that covers topics of importance to the Bank, notably business activity, pressures on production capacity, prices and inflation, and credit conditions.

Commodities and Monetary Policy: Implications for Inflation and Price Level Targeting

We examine the relative ability of simple inflation targeting (IT) and price level targeting (PLT) monetary policy rules to minimize both inflation variability and business cycle fluctuations in Canada for shocks that have important consequences for global commodity prices.

Short-Term Forecasting of the Japanese Economy Using Factor Models

Staff Working Paper 2012-7 Claudia Godbout, Marco J. Lombardi
While the usefulness of factor models has been acknowledged over recent years, little attention has been devoted to the forecasting power of these models for the Japanese economy. In this paper, we aim at assessing the relative performance of factor models over different samples, including the recent financial crisis.

Mixed Frequency Forecasts for Chinese GDP

Staff Working Paper 2011-11 Philipp Maier
We evaluate different approaches for using monthly indicators to predict Chinese GDP for the current and the next quarter (‘nowcasts’ and ‘forecasts’, respectively). We use three types of mixed-frequency models, one based on an economic activity indicator (Liu et al., 2007), one based on averaging over indicator models (Stock and Watson, 2004), and a static factor model (Stock and Watson, 2002).
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