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Estimating missing company specific Intrastat export and import values with multivariate time series models

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Title: Estimating missing company specific Intrastat export and import values with multivariate time series models
Author(s): Lahdensuo, Sofia
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Science
Degree program: Master 's Programme in Mathematics and Statistics
Specialisation: Statistics
Language: English
Acceptance year: 2022
Abstract:
The Finnish Customs collects and maintains the statistics of the Finnish intra-EU trade with the Intrastat system. Companies with significant intra-EU trade are obligated to give monthly Intrastat declarations, and the statistics of the Finnish intra-EU trade are compiled based on the information collected with the declarations. In case of a company not giving the declaration in time, there needs to exist an estimation method for the missing values. In this thesis we propose an automatic multivariate time series forecasting process for the estimation of the missing Intrastat import and export values. The forecasting is done separately for each company with missing values. For forecasting we use two dimensional time series models, where the other component is the import or export value of the company to be forecasted, and the other component is the import or export value of the industrial group of the company. To complement the time series forecasting we use forecast combining. Combined forecasts, for example the averages of the obtained forecasts, have been found to perform well in terms of forecast accuracy compared to the forecasts created by individual methods. In the forecasting process we use two multivariate time series models, the Vector Autoregressive (VAR) model, and a specific VAR model called the Vector Error Correction (VEC) model. The choice of the model is based on the stationary properties of the time series to be modelled. An alternative option for the VEC model is the so-called augmented VAR model, which is an over-fitted VAR model. We use the VEC model and the augmented VAR model together by using the average of the forecasts created with them as the forecast for the missing value. When the usual VAR model is used, only the forecast created by the single model is used. The forecasting process is created as automatic and as fast as possible, therefore the estimation of a time series model for a single company is made as simple as possible. Thus, only statistical tests which can be applied automatically are used in the model building. We compare the forecast accuracy of the forecasts created with the automatic forecasting process to the forecast accuracy of forecasts created with two simple forecasting methods. In the non-stationary-deemed time series the Naïve forecast performs well in terms of forecast accuracy compared to the time series model based forecasts. On the other hand, in the stationary-deemed time series the average over the past 12 months performs well as a forecast in terms of forecast accuracy compared to the time series model based forecasts. We also consider forecast combinations where the forecast combinations are created by calculating the average of the time series model based forecasts and the simple forecasts. In line with the literature, the forecast combinations perform overall better in terms of the forecast accuracy than the forecasts based on the individual models.
Keyword(s): Time series Forecasting VAR VECM Combined forecasts


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