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Using Monthly Data to Improve Quarterly Model Forecasts

Quarterly Review 2022 | Spring 1996

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Preston J. Miller Former Vice President and Monetary Adviser
Using Monthly Data to Improve Quarterly Model Forecasts


This article describes a new way to use monthly data to improve the national forecasts of quarterly economic models. This new method combines the forecasts of a monthly model with those of a quarterly model using weights that maximize forecasting accuracy. While none of the method's steps is new, it is the first method to include all of them. It is also the first method to be shown to improve quarterly model forecasts in a statistically significant way. And it is the first systematic forecasting method to be shown, statistically, to forecast as well as the popular survey of major economic forecasters published in the Blue Chip Economic Indicators newsletter. The method was designed for use with the quarterly model maintained in the Research Department of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank, but can be tailored to fit other models. The Minneapolis Fed model is a Bayesian-restricted vector autoregression model.