Speaker: Timur Behlul, AlphaBeta

Seminar Date: Tuesday August 1 12:00pm

Brief abstract: Macro-economic data such as GDP typically undergoes many revisions prior to the final release. These revisions go on for several quarters, and can be quite significant. Yet many practitioners attempting to forecast current quarter GDP (now-casting) use the latest vintage of data. This is problematic, as using the latest vintage can lead to the inclusion of predictors that have very little marginal predictive power in real time, and can also lead to misleading forecasting performance as the initial release of GDP can be different to the final release. In this talk he will give an overview of the revisions to Australian GDP, discuss the Australian real-time macroeconomic database, and show how this data can be used to model the first release of GDP. Additionally, he will present the results from an empirical exercise that compares the now-casts from a model that takes into account the revisions to GDP to a model that does not.

Short Bio: 
Timur Behlul is a data-scientist/economic consultant at AlphaBeta, an economics and strategy consulting firm based in Sydney and Singapore. They work with clients from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors to identify the forces shaping their markets and develop practical plans to create prosperity and wellbeing. Timur is also a PhD candidate in economics at the University of Melbourne, primarily focussing on labour market flows over the different phases of the business cycle.