Bayesian combined forecasts and Monte Carlo simulations to improve inflation rate predictions in Romania
Keywords:forecasts accuracy, Bayesian forecasts combination, shrinkage parameter, econometric model
In this paper we applied the regression approach and Bayesian inference to obtain more accurate forecasts of the inflation rate in the case of the Romanian economy. The necessity of using the most accurate forecasts for the inflation rate is required by the realisation of economic criteria for the accession to the eurozone and by the inflation targeting strategy of the National Bank of Romania. Considering the assumption that simple econometric models provide better forecasts than complex models, in this paper we combined various forecasts from individual models using as prior information the expectations of experts. The empirical findings for Romanian inflation rate forecasts over the horizon of 2016-2018 indicated that a fixed effects model performed better than other simple models (autoregressive moving average model, dynamic model, simple and multiple linear model, VAR, Bayesian VAR, simultaneous equations model). The Bayesian combined forecasts that used experts’ predictions as priors, with a shrinkage parameter tending to infinity, improved the accuracy of all predictions using individual models, outperforming also naïve forecasts and zero and equal weights forecasts. However, predictions based on Monte Carlo simulation outperformed all the scenarios in terms of the mean error and mean absolute error.
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