Course on Nowcasting

09/19/2022 - 09/30/2022 at Zoom Platform

This two-week course is designed to provide to relevant organizations in sub-Saharan Africa the cutting-edge tools and the types of data in-use or developed at the IMF to aid in the estimation of economic indicators in the recent past, present and near future (‘nowcasting’). Nowcasting can be defined as real-time evaluations of variables based on a series of relevant, timely and higher-frequency indicators and familiarize the region’s officials with the concepts and methods to incorporate High-Frequency economic indicators into the modeling process.
Through lectures and workshops, participants will be introduced to nowcasting methods and to the type of data and techniques that countries can use to develop high-frequency indicators (HFI) using a hands-on approach. The course will cover nowcasting and HFI data sources, two types of modeling approaches (factor models and machine learning), that enable the incorporation of mixed-frequency data indicators to the nowcasts and forecasts of GDP. Using applications to different countries, it will emphasize the following practical aspects: How to adapt to the data context? How to deal with mixed frequencies and delays in the release of data? How to evaluate (and combine) different nowcasting models? Given the course's focus, the target audience is staff conducting short/near term macroeconomic analysis and forecasting and possibly mid-level to senior managers responsible for public financial management or monetary policy decision-making who have modelling and forecasting skills.
Participants are expected to have an advanced degree in economics and econometrics or equivalent experience. It is strongly recommended that applicants have completed at least two general macroeconomic courses, such as Macroeconomic Forecasting and Analysis (MFA), Macroeconomic Diagnostic (MDS), delivered either in-person, virtually or online. In addition, ideally, participants should have experience of EViews and Matlab