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Jel Classification:E37 

Working Paper
A multi-country approach to forecasting output growth using PMIs

This paper derives new theoretical results for forecasting with Global VAR (GVAR) models. It is shown that the presence of a strong unobserved common factor can lead to an undetermined GVAR model. To solve this problem, we propose augmenting the GVAR with additional proxy equations for the strong factors and establish conditions under which forecasts from the augmented GVAR model (AugGVAR) uniformly converge in probability (as the panel dimensions N,T? ? such that N/T?? for some 0
Globalization Institute Working Papers , Paper 213

Working Paper
Stock Market Cross-Sectional Skewness and Business Cycle Fluctuations

Using U.S. data from 1926 to 2015, I show that financial skewness?a measure comparing cross-sectional upside and downside risks of the distribution of stock market returns of financial firms?is a powerful predictor of business cycle fluctuations. I then show that shocks to financial skewness are important drivers of business cycles, identifying these shocks using both vector autoregressions and a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model. Financial skewness appears to reflect the exposure of financial firms to the economic performance of their borrowers.
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1223

Working Paper
Political Distribution Risk and Aggregate Fluctuations

We argue that political distribution risk is an important driver of aggregate fluctuations. To that end, we document significant changes in the capital share after large political events, such as political realignments, modifications in collective bargaining rules, or the end of dictatorships, in a sample of developed and emerging economies. These policy changes are associated with significant fluctuations in output and asset prices. Using a Bayesian proxy-VAR estimated with U.S. data, we show how distribution shocks cause movements in output, unemployment, and sectoral asset prices. To ...
Working Papers , Paper 17-25

Vulnerable growth

We study the conditional distribution of GDP growth as a function of economic and financial conditions. Deteriorating financial conditions are associated with an increase in the conditional volatility and a decline in the conditional mean of GDP growth, leading the lower quantiles of GDP growth to vary with financial conditions and the upper quantiles to be stable over time: Upside risks to GDP growth are low in most periods while downside risks increase as financial conditions become tighter. We argue that amplification mechanisms in the financial sector generate the observed growth ...
Staff Reports , Paper 794

Working Paper
What's the Story? A New Perspective on the Value of Economic Forecasts

We apply textual analysis tools to measure the degree of optimism versus pessimism of the text that describes Federal Reserve Board forecasts published in the Greenbook. The resulting measure of Greenbook text sentiment, ?Tonality,? is found to be strongly correlated, in the intuitive direction, with the Greenbook point forecast for key economic variables such as unemployment and inflation. We then examine whether Tonality has incremental power for predicting unemployment, GDP growth, and inflation up to four quarters ahead. We find it to have significant and substantive predictive power for ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2017-107

Working Paper
The Role of Expectations in Changed Inflation Dynamics

The Phillips curve has been much flatter in the past twenty years than in the preceding decades. We consider two hypotheses. One is that prices at the microeconomic level are stickier than they used to be---in the context of the canonical Calvo model, firms are adjusting prices less often. The other is that the expectations of firms and households about future inflation are now less well informed by macroeconomic conditions; because expectations are important in the setting of current-period prices, inflation is therefore less sensitive to macroeconomic conditions. To distinguish between our ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2018-062

Working Paper
A Nowcasting Model for Canada: Do U.S. Variables Matter?

We propose a dynamic factor model for nowcasting the growth rate of quarterly real{{p}}Canadian gross domestic product. We show that the proposed model produces more accurate nowcasts than those produced by institutional forecasters, like the Bank of Canada, the The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the survey collected by Bloomberg, which reflects the median forecast of market participants. We show that including U.S. data in a nowcasting model for Canada dramatically improves its predictive accuracy, mainly because of the absence of timely production data ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2016-036

Journal Article
On the Relative Performance of Inflation Forecasts

Inflation expectations constitute important components of macroeconomic models and monetary policy rules. We investigate the relative performance of consumer, professional, market-based, and model-based inflation forecasts. Consistent with the previous literature, professional forecasts most accurately predict one-year-ahead year-over-year inflation. Both consumers and professionals overestimate inflation over their respective sample periods. Market-based forecasts as measured by the swap market breakeven inflation rates significantly overestimate actual inflation; Treasury ...
Review , Volume 104 , Issue 2 , Pages 131-148

Working Paper
Nowcasting U.S. Headline and Core Inflation

Forecasting future inflation and nowcasting contemporaneous inflation are difficult. We propose a new and parsimonious model for nowcasting headline and core inflation in the U.S. price index for personal consumption expenditures (PCE) and the consumer price index (CPI). The model relies on relatively few variables and is tested using real-time data. The model?s nowcasting accuracy improves as information accumulates over the course of a month or quarter, and it easily outperforms a variety of statistical benchmarks. In head-to-head comparisons, the model?s nowcasts of CPI infl ation ...
Working Papers (Old Series) , Paper 1403

Discussion Paper
Assessing monetary accommodation: a simple empirical model of monetary policy and its implications for unemployment and inflation

This note suggests that household wealth growth and a long-forward interest rate can be used to construct a simple and convenient reference standard for assessing the current stance of monetary policy. It shows that the difference between the federal funds rate and this reference interest rate is a powerful predictor of the unemployment rate and inflation, producing real-time forecasts that are competitive with consensus-based forecasts from surveys of forecasting professionals. Moreover, one can understand past FOMC policy actions as efforts to adjust the stance of policy, so measured, in ...
Staff Papers , Issue Dec


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