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Monthly GDP nowcasting with Machine Learning and Unstructured Data

Juan Tenorio and Wilder Perez

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Abstract: In the dynamic landscape of continuous change, Machine Learning (ML) "nowcasting" models offer a distinct advantage for informed decision-making in both public and private sectors. This study introduces ML-based GDP growth projection models for monthly rates in Peru, integrating structured macroeconomic indicators with high-frequency unstructured sentiment variables. Analyzing data from January 2007 to May 2023, encompassing 91 leading economic indicators, the study evaluates six ML algorithms to identify optimal predictors. Findings highlight the superior predictive capability of ML models using unstructured data, particularly Gradient Boosting Machine, LASSO, and Elastic Net, exhibiting a 20% to 25% reduction in prediction errors compared to traditional AR and Dynamic Factor Models (DFM). This enhanced performance is attributed to better handling of data of ML models in high-uncertainty periods, such as economic crises.

Date: 2024-02
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-big, nep-cmp and nep-for
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