Computers

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Marijn A. Bolhuis and Brett Rayner
We leverage insights from machine learning to optimize the tradeoff between bias and variance when estimating economic models using pooled datasets. Specifically, we develop a simple algorithm that estimates the similarity of economic structures across countries and selects the optimal pool of countries to maximize out-of-sample prediction accuracy of a model. We apply the new alogrithm by nowcasting output growth with a panel of 102 countries and are able to significantly improve forecast accuracy relative to alternative pools. The algortihm improves nowcast performance for advanced economies, as well as emerging market and developing economies, suggesting that machine learning techniques using pooled data could be an important macro tool for many countries.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This 2016 Article IV Consultation highlights that the economic recovery in Austria has strengthened in 2016. GDP growth in 2016 is estimated at 1.4 percent, an improvement over the average growth of 0.6 percent in 2012–15. Growth has been broad-based, driven by private consumption supported by income tax cuts, a recovery in investment, and higher public consumption owing to spending on refugees. Employment growth has picked up as well. The outlook for 2017 appears similarly robust, while in the medium term growth would decline toward its potential rate, which IMF staff estimate at slightly higher than 1 percent. Risks to the outlook are mainly external, with limited likely impact overall.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This paper presents details of Austria’s 2013 Article IV Consultation. Austria has been growing economically but is facing challenges in the financial sector. Full implementation of medium-term fiscal adjustment plans require specifying several measures and plans that need gradual strengthening to take expected further bank restructuring cost into account. It suggests that strong early bank intervention and resolution tools, a better designed deposit insurance system, and a bank-financed resolution fund would help reduce the need for budgetary support to any troubled banks in the future.
International Monetary Fund

Abstract

This paper presents a coordinated portfolio investment survey guide provided to assist national compilers in the conduct of the Coordinated Portfolio Investment Survey, conducted under the auspices of the IMF with reference to the year-end 1997. The guide covers a variety of conceptual issues that a country must address when conducting a survey. It also covers the practical issues associated with preparing for a national survey. These include setting a timetable, taking account of the legal and confidentiality issues raised, developing a mailing list, and maintaining quality control checks.