Forecasting US GNP growth : the role of uncertainty
Title: Forecasting US GNP growth : the role of uncertainty
Citation: Journal of forecasting, 2018, Vol. 37, No. 5, pp. 541-559
ISSN: 0277-6693; 1099-131X
A large number of models have been developed in the literature to analyze and forecast changes in output dynamics. The objective of this paper was to compare the predictive ability of univariate and bivariate models, in terms of forecasting US gross national product (GNP) growth at different forecasting horizons, with the bivariate models containing information on a measure of economic uncertainty. Based on point and density forecast accuracy measures, as well as on equal predictive ability (EPA) and superior predictive ability (SPA) tests, we evaluate the relative forecasting performance of different model specifications over the quarterly period of 1919:Q2 until 2014:Q4. We find that the economic policy uncertainty (EPU) index should improve the accuracy of US GNP growth forecasts in bivariate models. We also find that the EPU exhibits similar forecasting ability to the term spread and outperforms other uncertainty measures such as the volatility index and geopolitical risk in predicting US recessions. While the Markov switching time-varying parameter vector autoregressive model yields the lowest values for the root mean squared error in most cases, we observe relatively low values for the log predictive density score, when using the Bayesian vector regression model with stochastic volatility. More importantly, our results highlight the importance of uncertainty in forecasting US GNP growth rates.
Subject: Economic policy uncertainty; Forecast comparison; US GNP; Vector autoregressive models; Economic-policy uncertainty; Monetary-policy; Financial frictions; Output growth; DSGE model; Euro area; Inflation; Recessions; Shocks; Performance
First published: 11 April 2018
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