Forecasting in the presence of recent structural change

Working papers set out research in progress by our staff, with the aim of encouraging comments and debate.
Published on 29 November 2010

Working Paper No. 406
By Jana Eklund, George Kapetanios and Simon PriceĀ 

We examine how to forecast after a recent break. We consider monitoring for change and then combining forecasts from models that do and do not use data before the change; and robust methods, namely rolling regressions, forecast averaging over different windows and exponentially weighted moving average (EWMA) forecasting. We derive analytical results for the performance of the robust methods relative to a full-sample recursive benchmark. For a location model subject to stochastic breaks the relative mean square forecast error ranking is EWMA < rolling regression < forecast averaging. No clear ranking emerges under deterministic breaks. In Monte Carlo experiments forecast averaging improves performance in many cases with little penalty where there are small or infrequent changes. Similar results emerge when we examine a large number of UK and US macroeconomic series.

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