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How useful are the forecasts of intergovernmental agencies? The IMF and OECD versus the consensus

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  • Roy Batchelor
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    Abstract

    This study compares the accuracy and information content of economic forecasts for G7 countries made in the 1990s by the OECD and IMF. The benchmarks for comparison are the average forecasts of private sector economists published by Consensus Economics. With few exceptions, the private sector forecasts are less biased and more accurate in terms of mean absolute error and root mean square error. Formal tests show these differences are statistically significant for forecasts of real growth and production, less so for forecasts of inflation and unemployment. Overall, there appears little information in the OECD and IMF forecasts that could be used to reduce significantly the error in the private sector forecasts.

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    File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00036840121785
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Applied Economics.

    Volume (Year): 33 (2001)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 225-235

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:33:y:2001:i:2:p:225-235

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    Cited by:
    1. Jonas Dovern & Johannes Weisser, 2009. "Accuracy, Unbiasedness and Efficiency of Professional Macroeconomic Forecasts: An empirical Comparison for the G7," Jena Economic Research Papers 2009-091, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
    2. Rülke, Jan-Christoph, 2012. "Do professional forecasters in Asian–Pacific countries believe in the monetary neutrality?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(1), pages 178-181.
    3. Bleich, Dirk & Fendel, Ralf & Rülke, Jan-Christoph, 2012. "Inflation targeting makes the difference: Novel evidence on inflation stabilization," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 1092-1105.
    4. Fendel, Ralf & Frenkel, Michael & Rülke, Jan-Christoph, 2011. ""Ex-ante" Taylor rules and expectation forming in emerging markets," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 230-244, June.
    5. Krkoska, Libor & Teksoz, Utku, 2009. "How reliable are forecasts of GDP growth and inflation for countries with limited coverage?," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 376-388, December.
    6. Kajal Lahiri & Gultekin Isiklar, 2006. "How Far Ahead Can We Forecast? Evidence From Cross-country Surveys," Discussion Papers 06-04, University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics.
    7. Frenkel, Michael & Rülke, Jan-Christoph & Zimmermann, Lilli, 2013. "Do private sector forecasters chase after IMF or OECD forecasts?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 217-229.
    8. Ager, Philipp & Kappler, Marcus & Osterloh, Steffen, 2007. "The Accuracy and Efficiency of the Consensus Forecasts: A Further Application and Extension of the Pooled Approach," ZEW Discussion Papers 07-058, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    9. Merola, Rossana & Pérez, Javier J., 2013. "Fiscal forecast errors: Governments versus independent agencies?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 285-299.
    10. Bryan Campbell & Steve Murphy, 2006. "The Recent Performance of the Canadian Forecasting Industry," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 32(1), pages 23-40, March.
    11. Rülke, Jan-Christoph, 2012. "Do professional forecasters apply the Phillips curve and Okun's law? Evidence from six Asian-Pacific countries," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 317-324.
    12. Fendel, Ralf & Rülke, Jan-Christoph, 2012. "Some international evidence on the Lucas Supply Function," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 114(2), pages 157-160.
    13. van der Cruijsen, Carin & Demertzis, Maria, 2007. "The impact of central bank transparency on inflation expectations," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 51-66, March.
    14. Galimberti, Jaqueson K. & Moura, Marcelo L., 2013. "Taylor rules and exchange rate predictability in emerging economies," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 1008-1031.
    15. Ashiya, Masahiro, 2007. "Forecast accuracy of the Japanese government: Its year-ahead GDP forecast is too optimistic," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 68-85, January.
    16. Tsuchiya, Yoichi, 2013. "Are government and IMF forecasts useful? An application of a new market-timing test," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 118(1), pages 118-120.
    17. Oliver Hülsewig & Johannes Mayr & Stéphane Sorbe, 2007. "Assessing the Forecast Properties of the CESifo World Economic Climate Indicator: Evidence for the Euro Area," Ifo Working Paper Series Ifo Working Paper No. 46, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    18. Fendel, Ralf & Frenkel, Michael & Rülke, Jan-Christoph, 2011. "'Ex-ante' Taylor rules - Newly discovered evidence from the G7 countries," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 224-232, June.

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