The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
We study the forecasting power of financial variables for macroeconomic variables for 62 countries between 1980 and 2013. We find that financial variables such as credit growth, stock prices and house prices have considerable predictive power for macroeconomic variables at one to four quarters horizons. A forecasting model with financial variables outperforms the World Economic Outlook (WEO) forecasts in up to 85 percent of our sample countries at the four quarters horizon. We also find that cross-country panel models produce more accurate out-of-sample forecasts than individual country models.