Nowcasting Norwegian GDP : the hard, the soft and the uncertainty data
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- Master Thesis 
This Master thesis investigates nowcasting, or predicting real time GDP, power of the following series: i) hard data gauging real economy; ii) soft indicators reflecting business and financial markets’ sentiment and iii) uncertainty measures depicting the overall uncertainty in Norway. I employ approximate dynamic factor model, a framework acknowledged by researchers and practitioners at central banks, to examine the predictive power of 209 variables sorted in 15 blocks according to their economic content and release time. This thesis documents that finance related variables are good in predicting the current state of the economy. Due to their timely release and forward looking nature, they also perform well in forecasting the economic growth over the following year. These findings suggest that finance related variables are useful inputs for conducting timely and adequate monetary policy. Uncertainty measures help to predict the contemporaneous economic growth rate as well. Real variables like industrial production, while released with a lag and at a later date, add to the precision of the nowcast the most.