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What Central Bankers Need to Know about Forecasting Oil Prices

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Author Info

  • Christiane Baumeister
  • Lutz Kilian

Abstract

Forecasts of the quarterly real price of oil are routinely used by international organizations and central banks worldwide in assessing the global and domestic economic outlook, yet little is known about how best to generate such forecasts. Our analysis breaks new ground in several dimensions. First, we address a number of econometric and data issues specific to real-time forecasts of quarterly oil prices. Second, we develop real-time forecasting models not only for U.S. benchmarks such as West Texas Intermediate crude oil, but we also develop forecasting models for the price of Brent crude oil, which has become increasingly accepted as the best measure of the global price of oil in recent years. Third, we design for the first time methods for forecasting the real price of oil in foreign consumption units rather than U.S. consumption units, taking the point of view of forecasters outside the United States. In addition, we investigate the costs and benefits of allowing for time variation in vector autoregressive (VAR) model parameters and of constructing forecast combinations. We conclude that quarterly forecasts of the real price of oil from suitably designed VAR models estimated on monthly data generate the most accurate forecasts among a wide range of methods including forecasts based on oil futures prices, no-change forecasts and forecasts based on regression models estimated on quarterly data.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Bank of Canada in its series Working Papers with number 13-15.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:13-15

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Keywords: Econometric and statistical methods; International topics;

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References

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  1. Baumeister, Christiane & Kilian, Lutz, 2011. "Real-Time Forecasts of the Real Price of Oil," CEPR Discussion Papers 8414, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Domenico Giannone & Jérôme Henry & Magdalena Lalik & Michele Modugno, 2012. "An Area-Wide Real-Time Database for the Euro Area," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(4), pages 1000-1013, November.
  3. James H. Stock & Mark W.Watson, 2003. "Forecasting Output and Inflation: The Role of Asset Prices," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(3), pages 788-829, September.
  4. Mark W. Watson & James H. Stock, 2004. "Combination forecasts of output growth in a seven-country data set," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(6), pages 405-430.
  5. Domenico Giannone & Michèle Lenza & Giorgio E. Primiceri, 2012. "Prior Selection for Vector Autoregressions," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2012-002, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  6. Todd E. Clark & Michael W. McCracken, 2007. "Tests of equal predictive ability with real-time data," Research Working Paper RWP 07-06, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  7. Cogley, Timothy W. & Morozov, Sergei & Sargent, Thomas J., 2003. "Bayesian fan charts for UK inflation: Forecasting and sources of uncertainty in an evolving monetary system," CFS Working Paper Series 2003/44, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  8. Diebold, Francis X & Mariano, Roberto S, 2002. "Comparing Predictive Accuracy," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(1), pages 134-44, January.
  9. Antonello D'Agostino & Luca Gambetti & Domenico Giannone, 2013. "Macroeconomic forecasting and structural change," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(1), pages 82-101, 01.
  10. Ron Alquist & Lutz Kilian & Robert J. Vigfusson, 2011. "Forecasting the Price of Oil," Working Papers 11-15, Bank of Canada.
  11. Dean Croushore, 2011. "Frontiers of Real-Time Data Analysis," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(1), pages 72-100, March.
  12. Christiane Baumeister & Gert Peersman, 2013. "The Role Of Time‐Varying Price Elasticities In Accounting For Volatility Changes In The Crude Oil Market," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(7), pages 1087-1109, November.
  13. Kilian, Lutz, 2006. "Not All Oil Price Shocks Are Alike: Disentangling Demand and Supply Shocks in the Crude Oil Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 5994, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Inoue, Atsushi & Kilian, Lutz, 2003. "On the selection of forecasting models," Working Paper Series 0214, European Central Bank.
  15. Ron Alquist & Lutz Kilian, 2010. "What do we learn from the price of crude oil futures?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(4), pages 539-573.
  16. Morten O. Ravn & Harald Uhlig, 2002. "On adjusting the Hodrick-Prescott filter for the frequency of observations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(2), pages 371-375.
  17. 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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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Frankel, Jeffrey A., 2014. "Effects of speculation and interest rates in a “carry trade” model of commodity prices," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 88-112.
  2. Baumeister, Christiane & Kilian, Lutz, 2013. "Are product spreads useful for forecasting? An empirical evaluation of the Verleger hypothesis," CFS Working Paper Series 2013/09, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  3. Baumeister, Christiane & Kilian, Lutz, 2013. "Forecasting the Real Price of Oil in a Changing World: A Forecast Combination Approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 9569, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Chen, Shiu-Sheng, 2013. "Forecasting Crude Oil Price Movements with Oil-Sensitive Stocks," MPRA Paper 49240, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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