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Stylianos Asimakopoulos

22 May 2013
Given the increased importance of fiscal monitoring, this study amends the existing literature in the …field of intra-annual fiscal data in two main dimensions. First, we use quarterly fiscal data to forecast a very disaggregated set of fiscal series at annual frequency. This makes the analysis useful in the typical forecasting environment of large institutions, which employ a "bottom-up" or disaggregated framework. Aside from this practical type of consideration, we find that forecasts for total revenues and expenditures via their subcomponents can actually result more accurate than a direct forecast of the aggregate. Second, we employ a Mixed Data Sampling (MiDaS) approach to analyze mixed frequency …fiscal data, which is a methodological novelty. It is shown that MiDaS is the best approach for the analysis of mixed frequency fiscal data compared to two alternative approaches. The results regarding the information content of quarterly fiscal data confirm previous work that such data should be taken into account as it becomes available throughout the year for improving the end-year forecast. For instance, once data for the third quarter is incorporated, the annual forecast becomes very accurate (very close to actual data). We also benchmark against the European Commission's forecast and find the results fare favorably, particularly when considering that they stem from a simple univariate framework.
JEL Code
C22 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Single Equation Models, Single Variables→Time-Series Models, Dynamic Quantile Regressions, Dynamic Treatment Effect Models &bull Diffusion Processes
C53 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric Modeling→Forecasting and Prediction Methods, Simulation Methods
E62 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Fiscal Policy
H68 : Public Economics→National Budget, Deficit, and Debt→Forecasts of Budgets, Deficits, and Debt