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Nowcasting Recessions using the SVM Machine Learning Algorithm

Alexander James, Yaser S. Abu-Mostafa and Xiao Qiao

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Abstract: We introduce a novel application of Support Vector Machines (SVM), an important Machine Learning algorithm, to determine the beginning and end of recessions in real time. Nowcasting, "forecasting" a condition about the present time because the full information about it is not available until later, is key for recessions, which are only determined months after the fact. We show that SVM has excellent predictive performance for this task, and we provide implementation details to facilitate its use in similar problems in economics and finance.

New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-big, nep-cmp and nep-ets
Date: 2019-02
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