Do media data help to predict German industrial production?
In an uncertain world, decisions by market participants are based on expectations. Thus, sentiment indicators reflecting expectations are proven at predicting economic variables. However, survey respondents largely perceive the world through media reports. Typically, crude media information, like word-count indices, is used in the prediction of macroeconomic and financial variables. Here, we employ a rich data set provided by Media Tenor International, based on sentiment analysis of opinion-leading media in Germany from 2001 to 2014, transformed into several monthly indices. German industrial production is predicted in a real-time out-of-sample forecasting experiment using more than 17,000 models formed of all possible combinations with a maximum of 3 out of 48 macroeconomic, survey, and media indicators. Media data are indispensable for the prediction of German industrial production both for individual models and as a part of combined forecasts, particularly during the global financial crisis.