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Experts, firms, consumers or even hard data? Forecasting employment in Germany

Lehmann, Robert and Wohlrabe, Klaus (2016): Experts, firms, consumers or even hard data? Forecasting employment in Germany.

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Abstract

In this paper, we forecast employment growth for Germany with data for the period from November 2008 to November 2015. Hutter and Weber (2015) introduced an innovative unemployment indicator and evaluate the performance of several leading indicators, including the Ifo Employment Barometer, to predict unemployment changes. Since the Ifo Employment Barometer focuses on employment growth instead of unemployment developments, we mirror the study by Hutter and Weber (2015). It turns out that in our case, and in contrast to their article, the Ifo Employment Barometer outperforms their newly developed indicator. Additionally, consumers’ unemployment expectations and hard data such as new orders exhibit a high forecasting accuracy.

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