The ECB survey of professional forecasters (SPF) – A review after eight years’ experience
AbstractEight years have passed since the European Central Bank (ECB) launched its Survey of Professional Forecasters (SPF). The SPF asks a panel of approximately 75 forecasters located in the European Union (EU) for their short- to longer-term expectations for macroeconomic variables such as euro area inflation, growth and unemployment. This paper provides an initial assessment of the information content of this survey. First, we consider shorter-term (i.e., one- and two-year ahead rolling horizon) forecasts. The analysis suggests that, over the sample period, in common with other private and institutional forecasters, the SPF systematically under-forecast inflation but that there is less evidence of such systematic errors for GDP and unemployment forecasts. However, these findings, which generally hold regardless of whether one considers the aggregate SPF panel or individual responses, should be interpreted with caution given the relatively short sample period available for the analysis. Second, we consider SPF respondents’ assessment of forecast uncertainty using information from heir probability distributions. The results suggest that, particularly at the individual level, SPF respondents do not seem to fully capture the overall level of macroeconomic uncertainty. Moreover, even at the aggregate level, a more sophisticated evaluation of the SPF density forecasts using the probability integral transform largely confirms this assessment. Lastly, we consider longer-term macroeconomic expectations from the SPF, where, as expectations cannot yet be assessed against so few actual realisations, we provide a mainly qualitative assessment. With regard to inflation, the study suggests that the ECB has been successful at anchoring longterm expectations at rates consistent with its primary objective to ensure price stability over the medium term. Long-term GDP expectations – which should provide an indication of the private sector’s assessment of potential growth – have declined over the sample period and the balance of risks reported by respondents has generally been skewed to the downside.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by European Central Bank in its series Occasional Paper Series with number 59.
Length: 68 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2007
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Postfach 16 03 19, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Phone: +49 69 1344 0
Fax: +49 69 1344 6000
Web page: http://www.ecb.europa.eu/home/html/index.en.html
More information through EDIRC
Postal: Press and Information Division, European Central Bank, Kaiserstrasse 29, 60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2007-04-14 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBA-2007-04-14 (Central Banking)
- NEP-EEC-2007-04-14 (European Economics)
- NEP-FOR-2007-04-14 (Forecasting)
- NEP-MAC-2007-04-14 (Macroeconomics)
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Official Publications).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.