KOF Working Papers, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich 304
In a pioneering attempt we present the R(ecession)-word index for Switzerland. We evaluate its predictive ability of GDP growth using real-time vintages of GDP data, closely simulating flow of information in the past. We find that inclusion of the R-word index led to statistically significant improvement in forecast accuracy over the benchmark autoregressive model. Largest improvements in forecast accuracy were observed in the period around the Great Recession.