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Real-Time Forecasts of the Real Price of Oil

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  • Christiane Baumeister
  • Lutz Kilian

Abstract

We construct a monthly real-time dataset consisting of vintages for 1991.1--2010.12 that is suitable for generating forecasts of the real price of oil from a variety of models. We document that revisions of the data typically represent news, and we introduce backcasting and nowcasting techniques to fill gaps in the real-time data. We show that real-time forecasts of the real price of oil can be more accurate than the no-change forecast at horizons up to 1 year. In some cases, real-time mean squared prediction error (MSPE) reductions may be as high as 25% 1 month ahead and 24% 3 months ahead. This result is in striking contrast to related results in the literature for asset prices. In particular, recursive vector autoregressive (VAR) forecasts based on global oil market variables tend to have lower MSPE at short horizons than forecasts based on oil futures prices, forecasts based on autoregressive (AR) and autoregressive moving average (ARMA) models, and the no-change forecast. In addition, these VAR models have consistently higher directional accuracy.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1080/07350015.2011.648859
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Business & Economic Statistics.

Volume (Year): 30 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (September)
Pages: 326-336

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Handle: RePEc:taf:jnlbes:v:30:y:2011:i:2:p:326-336

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References

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  1. Ron Alquist & Lutz Kilian & Robert J. Vigfusson, 2011. "Forecasting the price of oil," International Finance Discussion Papers 1022, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. C. Baumeister & G. Peersman, 2010. "Sources of the Volatility Puzzle in the Crude Oil Market," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 10/634, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
  3. Kilian, Lutz, 2005. "Exogenous Oil Supply Shocks: How Big Are They and How Much do they Matter for the US Economy?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5131, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Giannone, Domenico & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 2006. "Does Information Help Recovering Structural Shocks from Past Observations?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5725, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Lutz Kilian & Bruce Hicks, 2013. "Did Unexpectedly Strong Economic Growth Cause the Oil Price Shock of 2003–2008?," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 32(5), pages 385-394, 08.
  6. Evan Koenig & Sheila Dolmas & Jeremy M. Piger, 2002. "The use and abuse of 'real-time' data in economic forecasting," Working Papers 2001-015, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  7. Giannone, Domenico & Lenza, Michele & Primiceri, Giorgio E., 2012. "Prior selection for vector autoregressions," Working Paper Series 1494, European Central Bank.
  8. Alquist, Ron & Kilian, Lutz, 2007. "What Do We Learn from the Price of Crude Oil Futures?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6548, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Lutz Kilian & Clara Vega, 2008. "Do energy prices respond to U.S. macroeconomic news? a test of the hypothesis of predetermined energy prices," International Finance Discussion Papers 957, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  10. Lutz Kilian, 2009. "Not All Oil Price Shocks Are Alike: Disentangling Demand and Supply Shocks in the Crude Oil Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 1053-69, June.
  11. Daniel F. Waggoner & Tao Zha, 1998. "Conditional forecasts in dynamic multivariate models," Working Paper 98-22, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  12. Clark, Todd E. & McCracken, Michael W., 2009. "Tests of Equal Predictive Ability With Real-Time Data," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 27(4), pages 441-454.
  13. Francis X. Diebold & Robert S. Mariano, 1994. "Comparing Predictive Accuracy," NBER Technical Working Papers 0169, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Francesco Ravazzolo & Philip Rothman, 2011. "Oil and US GDP: A Real-Time out-of Sample Examination," Working Papers 0004, Centre for Applied Macro- and Petroleum economics (CAMP), BI Norwegian Business School.
  15. Lutz Kilian & Daniel P. Murphy, 2012. "Why Agnostic Sign Restrictions Are Not Enough: Understanding The Dynamics Of Oil Market Var Models," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(5), pages 1166-1188, October.
  16. Kilian, Lutz & Murphy, Dan, 2010. "The Role of Inventories and Speculative Trading in the Global Market for Crude Oil," CEPR Discussion Papers 7753, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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