An Application of Dynamic Factor Models to Nowcast Regional Economic Activity in Spain
29 Pages Posted: 8 Mar 2019
Date Written: March 8, 2019
The goal of this paper is to propose a model to produce nowcasts of GDP growth of Spanish regions, by means of dynamic factor models. This framework is capable to incorporate in a parsimonious way the relevant information available at the time that each forecast is made. We employ a Bayesian perspective to provide robust estimation of all the ingredients involved in the model. Accordingly, we introduce the Bayesian Factor model for Regions (BayFaR), which allows for the inclusion of missing data and combines quarterly data on regional real output growth (taken from the database of the AIReF and from the individual regional statistics institutes, when available) and monthly information associated to indicators of regional real activity. We apply the BayFaR to nowcast the GDP growth of the four largest regions of Spain, and illustrate the real-time nowcasting performance of the proposed framework for each case. We also apply the model to nowcast Spanish GDP in order to be able to assess the relative growth of each region.
Keywords: regional activity, nowcasting, dynamic factor model
JEL Classification: C32, E37, R13
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