Forecasting models for the Chinese macroeconomy: the simpler the better?

Heaton, C.; Ponomareva, N.; Zhang, Q.

Empirical Economics 58(1): 139-167


ISSN/ISBN: 0377-7332
Accession: 084112182

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We consider the problem of macroeconomic forecasting for China. Our objective is to determine whether well-established forecasting models that are commonly used to compute forecasts for Western macroeconomies are also useful for China. Our study includes 19 different forecasting models, ranging from simple approaches such as the naive forecast to more sophisticated techniques such as ARMA, Bayesian VAR, and factor models. We use these models to forecast two different measures of price inflation and two different measures of real activity, with forecast horizons ranging from 1 to 12 months, over a period that stretches from March 2005 to December 2018. We test null hypotheses of equal mean squared forecasting error between each candidate model and a simple benchmark. We find evidence that AR, ARMA, VAR, and Bayesian VAR models provide superior 1-month-ahead forecasts of the producer price index when compared to simple benchmarks, but find no evidence of superiority over simple benchmarks at longer horizons, or for any of our other variables.