Short-Term Forecasts of Latvia's Real Gross Domestic Product Growth Using Monthly Indicators
Working Paper 5/2008
The conjunctural information from monthly indicators, e.g. industrial production, retail trade turnover, M3, confidence indicators, etc. could partly replace GDP data before the first official release is published. It is possible to incorporate monthly indicators into short-term forecasting models of GDP using quarterly bridge equations or state space models. In many cases monthly indicators are released with a lag, and GDP forecasts based on actual figures are available only shortly before the official release. To eliminate this drawback, missing observations of monthly indicators could be forecasted using simple univariate time-series models.
To perform real-time analysis of the forecasting performance of bridge equations and state space models, a real-time database containing real GDP series with 28 vintages of quarterly real GDP was created.
According to calculations, only bridge equations and state space models containing M3 monthly data perform better than the benchmark ARIMA model. Both model types using M3 provide valuable information forecast for the first and final releases of GDP. This does not mean, however, that other conjunctural indicators should not be used in forecasting, as the analysis does not take into account possible future changes in links between monthly indicators and quarterly GDP growth.
Keywords: bridge equations, state space model, out-of-sample forecasting, real-time database, interpolation.
JEL classification: C22, C53, E37