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In this paper the authors present "Now-casts" of Irish GDP using timely data from a panel data set of 41 different variables. The approach seeks to resolve two issues which commonly confront forecastors of GDP - how to parsimoniously avail of the many different series, which can potentially influence GDP and how to reconcile the within-quarterly release of many of these series with the quarterly estimates of GDP? The now-casts in this paper are generated by firstly, using dynamic factor analysis to extract a common factor from the panel data set and, secondly, through use of bridging equations to relate the monthly data to the quarterly GDP estimates.
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