Nowcasting Brazilian GDP: a performance assessment of dynamic factor models

Issler, João Victor
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This work compares dynamic factor model’s forecasts for Brazilian GDP. Our approach takes into account mixed frequencies and can handle missing data. We implement three models: the first is based on the Principal Components Analysis methodology; the second employs a two-step estimation method with quarterly inputs; the last is similar to the former but uses monthly series. A real-time out-of-sample exercise is proposed to assess the performance of these models. A dataset is created for each day within 27 quarters - from the fourth quarter of 2010 up to the second quarter of 2017. For recent periods, the nowcasts estimated by both two-step procedures perform better than the average predictions of Focus Survey, a bulletin organized by the Brazilian Central Bank. We also show evidence that the average of GDP forecasts from this survey may be biased

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