Journal of Applied Econometrics

Macroeconomic forecast accuracy in a data‐rich environment

Early View

Summary The performance of six classes of models in forecasting different types of economic series is evaluated in an extensive pseudo out‐of‐sample exercise. One of these forecasting models, regularized data‐rich model averaging (RDRMA), is new in the literature. The findings can be summarized in four points. First, RDRMA is difficult to beat in general and generates the best forecasts for real variables. This performance is attributed to the combination of regularization and model averaging, and it confirms that a smart handling of large data sets can lead to substantial improvements over univariate approaches. Second, the ARMA(1,1) model emerges as the best to forecast inflation changes in the short run, while RDRMA dominates at longer horizons. Third, the returns on the S&P 500 index are predictable by RDRMA at short horizons. Finally, the forecast accuracy and the optimal structure of the forecasting equations are quite unstable over time.

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