Forecasting GDP Growth, or How Can Random Forests Improve Predictions in Economics?

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Statistiska institutionen; Uppsala universitet/Statistiska institutionen


GDP is used to measure the economic state of a country and accurate forecasts of it is therefore important. Using the Economic Tendency Survey we investigate forecasting quarterly GDP growth using the data mining technique Random Forest. Comparisons are made with a benchmark AR(1) and an ad hoc linear model built on the most important variables suggested by the Random Forest. Evaluation by forecasting shows that the Random Forest makes the most accurate forecast supporting the theory that there are benefits to using Random Forests on economic time series. 

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