Mr. Philip Liu, Rafael Romeu, and Mr. Troy D Matheson
Macroeconomic policy decisions in real-time are based the assessment of current and future economic conditions. These assessments are made difficult by the presence of incomplete and noisy data. The problem is more acute for emerging market economies, where most economic data are released infrequently with a (sometimes substantial) lag. This paper evaluates "nowcasts" and forecasts of real GDP growth using five alternative models for ten Latin American countries. The results indicate that the flow of monthly data helps to improve forecast accuracy, and the dynamic factor model consistently produces more accurate nowcasts and forecasts relative to other model specifications, across most of the countries we consider.
This paper develops a simple procedure for incorporating market-based information into the construction of fan charts. Using the International Monetary Fund (IMF)'s global growth forecast as a working example, the paper goes through the theoretical and practical considerations of this new approach. The resulting spreadsheet, which implements the approach, is available upon request from the authors.