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Are ATM/POS Data Relevant When Nowcasting Private Consumption?

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Executive Summary

Policymakers need timely and reliable information on the current state of the economy as macroeconomic forecasts and policy decisions are strongly affected by the quality and completeness of this assessment. Therefore, forecasters are always in search of new indicators that are related with the macroeconomic variable of interest and available earlier. This paper proposes the use of the ATM/POS data as an indicator to estimate private consumption. An application for Portugal is presented as a case study, where the out of sample performance of this indicator is evaluated against some benchmark na?ve models and other alternative bridge models. The results clearly support the use of this information to now-cast non durables private consumption.

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