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Author:Giannone, Domenico 

Working Paper
Nowcasting Business Cycles: a Bayesian Approach to Dynamic Heterogeneous Factor Models

We develop a framework for measuring and monitoring business cycles in real time. Following a long tradition in macroeconometrics, inference is based on a variety of indicators of economic activity, treated as imperfect measures of an underlying index of business cycle conditions. We extend existing approaches by permitting for heterogenous lead-lag patterns of the various indicators along the business cycles. The framework is well suited for high-frequency monitoring of current economic conditions in real time - nowcasting - since inference can be conducted in presence of mixed frequency ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2015-66

Working Paper
Low Frequency Effects of Macroeconomic News on Government Bond Yields

This study analyzes the reaction of the U.S. Treasury bond market to innovations in macroeconomic fundamentals. We identify these innovations with macroeconomic news, defined as differences between the actual releases and their market expectations. We show that macroeconomic news explain about one-third of the low frequency (quarterly) fluctuations of long-term bond yields. When focusing on the high frequency (daily) movements this share decreases to one-tenth. This result is due to the fact that macro news have a persistent effect on the yield curve. Non-fundamental factors, instead, ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2014-52

Working Paper
Nowcasting GDP and inflation: the real-time informational content of macroeconomic data releases

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 ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2005-42

Report
Priors for the long run

We propose a class of prior distributions that discipline the long-run predictions of vector autoregressions (VARs). These priors can be naturally elicited using economic theory, which provides guidance on the joint dynamics of macroeconomic time series in the long run. Our priors for the long run are conjugate, and can thus be easily implemented using dummy observations and combined with other popular priors. In VARs with standard macroeconomic variables, a prior based on the long-run predictions of a wide class of theoretical models yields substantial improvements in the forecasting ...
Staff Reports , Paper 832

Report
Macroeconomic nowcasting and forecasting with big data

Data, data, data . . . Economists know it well, especially when it comes to monitoring macroeconomic conditions?the basis for making informed economic and policy decisions. Handling large and complex data sets was a challenge that macroeconomists engaged in real-time analysis faced long before ?big data? became pervasive in other disciplines. We review how methods for tracking economic conditions using big data have evolved over time and explain how econometric techniques have advanced to mimic and automate the best practices of forecasters on trading desks, at central banks, and in other ...
Staff Reports , Paper 830

Report
Forecasting Macroeconomic Risks

We construct risks around consensus forecasts of real GDP growth, unemployment, and inflation. We find that risks are time-varying, asymmetric, and partly predictable. Tight financial conditions forecast downside growth risk, upside unemployment risk, and increased uncertainty around the inflation forecast. Growth vulnerability arises as the conditional mean and conditional variance of GDP growth are negatively correlated: downside risks are driven by lower mean and higher variance when financial conditions tighten. Similarly, employment vulnerability arises as the conditional mean and ...
Staff Reports , Paper 914

Report
Bank Capital and Real GDP Growth

We study the relationship between bank capital ratios and the distribution of future real GDP growth. Growth in the aggregate bank capital ratio corresponds to a smaller left tail of GDP—smaller crisis probability—but at the cost of a smaller right tail of growth outcomes—smaller probability of exuberant growth. This trade-off persists at horizons of up to eight quarters, highlighting the long-range consequences of changes in bank capital. We show that the predictive information in bank capital ratio growth is over and above that contained in real credit growth, suggesting importance ...
Staff Reports , Paper 950

Discussion Paper
A New Perspective on Low Interest Rates

Interest rates in the United States have remained at historically low levels for many years. This series of posts explores the forces behind the persistence of low rates. We briefly discuss some of the explanations advanced in the academic literature, and propose an alternative hypothesis that centers on the premium associated with safe and liquid assets. Our argument, outlined in a paper we presented at the Brookings Conference on Economic Activity last March, suggests that the increase in this premium since the late 1990s has been a key driver of the decline in the real return on U.S. ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20180205

Discussion Paper
A Time-Series Perspective on Safety, Liquidity, and Low Interest Rates

The previous post in this series discussed several possible explanations for the trend decline in U.S. real interest rates since the late 1990s. We noted that while interest rates have generally come down over the past two decades, this decline has been more pronounced for Treasury securities. The conclusion that we draw from this evidence is that the convenience associated with the safety and liquidity embedded in Treasuries is an important driver of the secular (long-term) decline in Treasury yields. In this post and the next, we provide an overview of the two complementary empirical ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20180206

Discussion Paper
A DSGE Perspective on Safety, Liquidity, and Low Interest Rates

The preceding two posts in this series documented that interest rates on safe and liquid assets, such as U.S. Treasury securities, have declined significantly in the past twenty years. Of course, short-term interest rates in the United States are under the control of the Federal Reserve, at least in nominal terms. So it is legitimate to ask, To what extent is this decline driven by the Federal Reserve?s interest rate policy? This post addresses this question by coupling the results presented in the previous post with those obtained from an estimated dynamic stochastic general equilibrium ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20180207

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