Are Qualitative Inflation Expectations Useful to Predict Inflation?
Journal of Business Cycle Measurement and Analysis,
This paper examines the properties of qualitative inflation expectations collected from economic experts for Germany. It describes their characteristics relating to rationality and Granger causality. An out-of-sample simulation study investigates whether this indicator is suitable for inflation forecasting. Results from other standard forecasting models are considered and compared with models employing survey measures. We find that a model using survey expectations outperforms most of the competing models. Moreover, we find some evidence that the survey indicator already contains information from other model types (e. g. Phillips curve models). However, the forecast quality may be further improved by completely taking into account information from some financial indicators.
Should We Trust in Leading Indicators? Evidence from the Recent Recession
The paper analyzes leading indicators for GDP and industrial production in Germany. We focus on the performance of single and pooled leading indicators during the pre-crisis and crisis period using various weighting schemes. Pairwise and joint significant tests are used to evaluate single indicator as well as forecast combination methods. In addition, we use an end-of-sample instability test to investigate the stability of forecasting models during the recent financial crisis. We find in general that only a small number of single indicator models were performing well before the crisis. Pooling can substantially increase the reliability of leading indicator forecasts. During the crisis the relative performance of many leading indicator models increased. At short horizons, survey indicators perform best, while at longer horizons financial indicators, such as term spreads and risk spreads, improve relative to the benchmark.