Pakistan Institute of Development Economics



Inflation Forecasting for Pakistan in a Data-rich Environment (Article)

This paper uses machine learning methods to forecast the year-on-year CPI inflation of Pakistan and compare their forecasting performance against the comprehensive traditional forecasting suite contained in Hanif and Malik (2015). It also augments the comprehensive forecasting suite with the dynamic factor model which is able to handle a large amount of information and put all of these models in competition against the latest machine learning models. A set of 117 predictors covering a period of July 1995 to June 2020 is used for this purpose. We set the naïve mean model as the benchmark and compare its forecasting performance against 14 traditional and 5 sophisticated machine learning models. We forecast the year-on-year CPI inflation over a 24 months horizon. Forecasting performance is measured using the RMSE. Our results show that the machine learning approaches perform better than the traditional econometric models at 18 forecast horizons.

Syed Ateeb Akhter Shah, Muhammad Ishtiaq, Sumbal Qureshi, And Kaneez Fatima

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