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A two factor model to combine US inflation forecasts

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Abstract:

The combination of individual forecasts is often a useful tool to improve forecast accuracy. The most commonly used technique for forecast combination is the mean, and it has frequently proved hard to surpass. This study considers factor analysis to combine US inflation forecasts showing that just one factor is not enough to beat the mean and that the second one is necessary. The first factor is usually a weighted mean of the variables and it can be interpreted as a consensus forecast, while the second factor generally provides the differences among the variables and, since the observations are forecasts, it may be related with the dispersion in forecasting expectations and, in a sense, with its uncertainty. Within this approach, the study also revisits Friedman's hypothesis relating the level of inflation with expectations uncertainty at the beginning of the twenty-first century.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/00036840500427296

Affiliations: 1: Dept. Análisis Económico, Economía Cuantitativa, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Av. Tomás y Valiente, 5, 28049 Cantoblanco, Madrid, Spain 2: Dept. Estadística, Estr. Eca. y O.E.I., Universidad de Alcalá, Plaza de la Victoria 2, 28802 Alcalá de Henares, Madrid, Spain

Publication date: 2006-10-10

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