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Forecasting GDP growth with NIPA aggregates: In search of core GDP

Christian Garciga () and Edward Knotek ()

International Journal of Forecasting, 2019, vol. 35, issue 4, 1814-1828

Abstract: In addition to GDP, which is measured using expenditure data, the U.S. national income and product accounts (NIPAs) provide a variety of measures of economic activity, including gross domestic income and other aggregates that exclude one or more of the components that make up GDP. Similarly to the way in which economists have attempted to use core inflation—which excludes volatile energy and food prices—to predict headline inflation, the omission of GDP components may be useful in extracting a signal as to where GDP is going. We investigate the extent to which these NIPA aggregates constitute “core GDP.” In an out-of-sample forecasting exercise using a novel real-time dataset of NIPA aggregates, we find that consumption growth and the growth of GDP excluding inventories and trade have historically outperformed a canonical univariate benchmark for forecasting GDP growth, suggesting that these are promising measures of core GDP growth.

Keywords: Forecasts; GDP; GDI; Real-time data; Survey of professional forecasters; Consumption (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1016/j.ijforecast.2019.03.024

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