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David H. Small

26 May 2006
This paper formalizes the process of updating the nowcast and forecast on output and inflation as new releases of data become available. The marginal contribution of a particular release for the value of the signal and its precision is evaluated by computing "news" on the basis of an evolving conditioning information set. The marginal contribution is then split into what is due to timeliness of information and what is due to economic content. We find that the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia surveys have a large marginal impact on the nowcast of both inflation variables and real variables and this effect is larger than that of the Employment Report. When we control for timeliness of the releases, the effect of hard data becomes sizeable. Prices and quantities affect the precision of the estimates of inflation while GDP is only affected by real variables and interest rates.
JEL Code
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
C33 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models, Multiple Variables→Panel Data Models, Spatio-temporal Models
C53 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric Modeling→Forecasting and Prediction Methods, Simulation Methods