Nowcasting Annual National Accounts with Quarterly Indicators : An Assessment of Widely Used Benchmarking Methods

Author/Editor:

Marco Marini

Publication Date:

March 18, 2016

Electronic Access:

Free Full Text. Use the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this PDF file

Disclaimer: This Working Paper should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF.The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to further debate

Summary:

Benchmarking methods can be used to extrapolate (or “nowcast”) low-frequency benchmarks on the basis of available high-frequency indicators. Quarterly national accounts are a typical example, where a number of monthly and quarterly indicators of economic activity are used to calculate preliminary annual estimates of GDP. Using both simulated and real-life national accounts data, this paper aims at assessing the prediction accuracy of three benchmarking methods widely used in the national accounts compilation: the proportional Denton method, the proportional Cholette-Dagum method with first-order autoregressive error, and the regression-based Chow-Lin method. The results show that the Cholette-Dagum method provides the most accurate extrapolations when the indicator and the annual benchmarks move along the same trend. However, the Denton and Chow-Lin methods could prevail in real-life cases when the quarterly indicator temporarily deviates from the target series.

Series:

Working Paper No. 16/71

Subject:

English

Publication Date:

March 18, 2016

ISBN/ISSN:

9781484301180/1018-5941

Stock No:

WPIEA2016071

Price:

$18.00 (Academic Rate:$18.00)

Format:

Paper

Pages:

25

Please address any questions about this title to publications@imf.org