Forecasting Inflation with an Uncertain Output Gap
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The output gap is a crucial concept in the monetary policy framework, indicating demand pressure that generates inflation. However, its definition and estimation raise a number of theoretical and empirical questions. This paper evaluates a series of univariate and multivariate methods for extracting the output gap in Norway, and compares their value added in predicting inflation. We find that models including the output gap have better predictive power than models based on alternative indicators, and they forecast significantly better than simple benchmark models. At the longer forecast horizons, multivariate measures of the output gap perform better than the univariate gaps.