Are More Data Always Better For Factor Analysis? Results For The Euro Area, The Six Largest Euro Area Countries And The UK

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Executive Summary

Factor based forecasting has been at the forefront of developments in the macro-econometric forecasting literature in the recent past. Despite the flurry of activity in the area, a number of specification issues such as the choice of the number of factors in the forecasting regression, the benefits of combining factor-based forecasts and the choice of the dataset from which to extract the factors remain partly unaddressed. This paper provides a comprehensive empirical investigation of these issues using data for the euro area, the six largest euro area countries, and the UK.

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