1887

OECD Journal: Journal of Business Cycle Measurement and Analysis

The Journal of Business Cycle Measurement and Analysis has been discontinued as of 24 June 2016. This journal was published jointly with CIRET from 2004 to 2015. For more information see www.ciret.org/jbcy.

English

Keywords: business tendency, economic measurement, economic statistics, cyclical indicators, business surveys, business cycles, economic research, business investment, consumer surveys, economic indicators, economic cycle, cyclical fluctuations, short-term, economic analysis

The importance of updating

Evidence from a Brazilian nowcasting model

How often should we update predictions for economic activity? Gross domestic product is a quarterly variable disseminated usually a couple of months after the end of the quarter, but many other macroeconomic indicators are released with a higher frequency, and financial markets react very strongly to them. However, most of the professional forecasters, including the IMF, the OECD, and most central banks, tend to update their forecasts of economic activity only two to four times a year. The Central Bank of Brazil, not only disseminates its official forecasts every quarter as other central banks, but also collects and publishes the results of professional forecasters’ survey data at a daily frequency. The aim of this article is to evaluate the forecasting performance of the Central Bank of Brazil Survey and to compare it with the mechanical forecasts based on state-of-the-art nowcasting techniques. Results indicate that both model and market participant predictions are well behaved, i.e. as more information becomes available their accuracy and correlation with the actual realization increases. In terms of performance the model seems to be slightly better than the institutional forecasts in the nowcast and backcast.

Keywords: Nowcasting, Updating, Dynamic Factor Model.

JEL classification: C33, C53, E37.

English

JEL: C33: Mathematical and Quantitative Methods / Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables / Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models: Panel Data Models; Spatio-temporal Models; C53: Mathematical and Quantitative Methods / Econometric Modeling / Forecasting Models; Simulation Methods; E37: Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics / Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles / Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles: Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
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