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Can the Fed predict the state of the economy?

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  • Sinclair, Tara M.
  • Joutz, Fred
  • Stekler, H.O.

Abstract

We show that systematic forecast errors reveal that the Fed is "surprised" by real and inflationary cycles. The Fed knows the state of the economy for the current quarter, but cannot predict it one-quarter ahead.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics Letters.

Volume (Year): 108 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (July)
Pages: 28-32

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:108:y:2010:i:1:p:28-32

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Keywords: Forecast evaluation Federal Reserve Systematic errors Recessions;

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References

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  1. Holden, K & Peel, D A, 1990. "On Testing for Unbiasedness and Efficiency of Forecasts," The Manchester School of Economic & Social Studies, University of Manchester, vol. 58(2), pages 120-27, June.
  2. Carlos Capistrán, 2006. "Bias in Federal Reserve Inflation Forecasts: Is the Federal Reserve Irrational or Just Cautious?," Working Papers 2006-14, Banco de México.
  3. Joutz, Fred & Stekler, H. O., 2000. "An evaluation of the predictions of the Federal Reserve," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 17-38.
  4. Swanson, Norman R. & van Dijk, Dick, 2006. "Are Statistical Reporting Agencies Getting It Right? Data Rationality and Business Cycle Asymmetry," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 24, pages 24-42, January.
  5. Graham Elliott & Ivana Komunjer & Allan Timmermann, 2005. "Biases In Macroeconomic Forecasts: Irrationality Or Asymmetric Loss?," CAMA Working Papers 2005-14, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  6. Karen E. Dynan & Douglas Elmendorf, 2001. "Do provisional estimates of output miss economic turning points?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2001-52, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  7. Jacob A. Mincer & Victor Zarnowitz, 1969. "The Evaluation of Economic Forecasts," NBER Chapters, in: Economic Forecasts and Expectations: Analysis of Forecasting Behavior and Performance, pages 1-46 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Tara M. Sinclair, 2012. "Characteristics and Implications of Chinese Macroeconomic Data Revisions," Working Papers 2012-09, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
  2. Tara M. Sinclair & H.O. Stekler & Warren Carnow, 2012. "Evaluating A Vector Of The Fed’S Forecasts," Working Papers 2012-002, The George Washington University, Department of Economics, Research Program on Forecasting.
  3. Tara M. Sinclair & H. O. Stekler & Warren Carnow, 2012. "A new approach for evaluating economic forecasts," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(3), pages 2332-2342.
  4. Loungani, Prakash & Stekler, Herman & Tamirisa, Natalia, 2013. "Information rigidity in growth forecasts: Some cross-country evidence," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 605-621.
  5. Henning Fischer & Marta García-Bárzana & Peter Tillmann & Peter Winker, 2014. "Evaluating FOMC forecast ranges: an interval data approach," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 47(1), pages 365-388, August.
  6. Tara M. Sinclair & H.O. Stekler, 2011. "Examining the Quality of Early GDP Component Estimates," Working Papers 2011-001, The George Washington University, Department of Economics, Research Program on Forecasting, revised Dec 2011.
  7. Tara M. Sinclair & H.O. Stekler, 2011. "Differences in Early GDP Component Estimates Between Recession and Expansion," Working Papers 2011-05, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.

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