This paper presents a Bayesian model averaging regression framework for forecasting US inflation, in which the set of predictors included in the model is automatically selected from a large pool of potential predictors and the set of regressors is allowed to change over time. Using real-time data on the 1960-2011 period, this model is applied to forecast personal consumption expenditures and gross domestic product deflator inflation. The results of this forecasting exercise show that, although it is not able to beat a simple random-walk model in terms of point forecasts, it does produce superior density forecasts compared with a range of alternative forecasting models. Moreover, a sensitivity analysis shows that the forecasting results are relatively insensitive to prior choices and the forecasting performance is not affected by the inclusion of a very large set of potential predictors.

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Statistica Neerlandica
Erasmus University Rotterdam

van der Maas, J. (2014). Forecasting inflation using time-varying bayesian model averaging. Statistica Neerlandica, 68(3), 149–182. doi:10.1111/stan.12027