What is “Nowcast” and why is it important?

“Nowcast” is the prediction the very near past and future. Compared with developed economies, some important indicators for the Turkish economy (i.e., GDP and the unemployment rate) are released with a very long delay. GDP is released nearly with a 5-6 month delay and the unemployment rate is released with a 3-4 months delay from the beginning of the reference period. Therefore, it is important for policy makers and market participants to infer the current state of the economy by analyzing data released in a more timely manner than GDP or other similar indicators released with a long delay, at a higher frequency. Utilizing “Nowcasting” methods by economic actors in Turkey more widespread will help them to make more effective decisions.

Models used in this website

Nowcasts that are released in this website are produced by dynamic factor models. Dynamic factor model used in this website extract information from a large number of indicators, and deal with missing data effectively. Turkey is a developing economy where institutions have only recently begun to collect macroeconomic data, so datasets organized for nowcasting Turkish macro indicators usually include series of different sample lengths and different frequencies. Moreover, these datasets have small sample size problems. Therefore, it is beneficial to use dynamic factor models that can deal with this kind of problems.