The first official data releases of quarterly real GDP for the euro area are published about eight weeks after the end of the reference quarters. Meanwhile, ongoing economic developments must be assessed from various, more readily available, monthly indicators. We examine in the context of univariate forecasting equations to what extent monthly indicators provide useful information for predicting euro area real GDP growth over the current and the next quarter.
In particular, we investigate the performance of the equations under the case that the monthly indicators are only partially available within the quarter. For this purpose, we use time series models to forecast the missing observations of monthly indicators. We then examine GDP forecasts under different amounts of monthly information. We find that already a limited amount of monthly information improves the predictions for current-quarter GDP growth to a considerable extent, compared with ARIMA forecasts. Equations based on either quantitative activity indicators or the CEPR EuroCOIN composite indicator perform best.