Working Paper

Forecasting US Inflation Using Bayesian Nonparametric Models


Abstract: The relationship between inflation and predictors such as unemployment is potentially nonlinear with a strength that varies over time, and prediction errors error may be subject to large, asymmetric shocks. Inspired by these concerns, we develop a model for inflation forecasting that is nonparametric both in the conditional mean and in the error using Gaussian and Dirichlet processes, respectively. We discuss how both these features may be important in producing accurate forecasts of inflation. In a forecasting exercise involving CPI inflation, we find that our approach has substantial benefits, both overall and in the left tail, with nonparametric modeling of the conditional mean being of particular importance.

Keywords: nonparametric regression; Gaussian process; Dirichlet process mixture; inflation forecasting;

JEL Classification: C11; C32; C53;

https://doi.org/10.26509/frbc-wp-202205

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

Part of Series: Working Papers

Publication Date: 2022-03-02

Number: 22-05