machine learning

Nowcasting GDP growth in a small open economy

Nowcasting, that is, forecasting the current economic conditions, is a key ingredient for decision making, but it is complex, even more so for a small open economy, due to the higher volatility of its GDP. In this paper, we review the required steps, taking Luxembourg as an example. We consider both standard and alternative indicators, used as inputs in several nowcasting methods, including various factor and machine learning models.

Can machine learning catch the COVID-19 recession?

Based on evidence gathered from a newly built large macroeconomic dataset (MD) for the UK, labelled UK-MD and comparable to similar datasets for the United States and Canada, it seems the most promising avenue for forecasting during the pandemic is to allow for general forms of nonlinearity by using machine learning (ML) methods. But not all nonlinear ML methods are alike. For instance, some do not allow to extrapolate (like regular trees and forests) and some do (when complemented with linear dynamic components).