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Comparing the Accuracy of European GDP Forecasts


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  • Öller, Lars-Erik

    (National Institute of Economic Research)

  • Barot, Bharat

    (National Institute of Economic Research)


One-year-ahead forecasts by OECD and by national institutes of annual growth of GDP of 13 European countries are analysed for accuracy 1971.1995. Average errors were large: 1.9 % in RMSE and 1.4 MAE. Wilcoxon signed-rank tests showed that only four (five) OECD and two (four) institute forecast records were significantly better than an average growth forecast (the last observed growth) as measured by RMSE. Still, both OECD and institute forecast could jointly beat the naive variants, but there was no significant difference in accuracy between OECD and the institutes. Few one-year-ahead forecasts were biased or had autocorrelated errors. Directional forecasts were also jointly informative. For some years, e.g. 1988, the direction was perceived wrongly by many forecasters. Only the OECD forecasts of Italy and Sweden improve significantly over time. OECD´s two-year-ahead country forecasts were significantly correlated with the outcome only for half of the countries, and they were positively biased.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Institute of Economic Research in its series Working Paper with number 64.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: 01 Jan 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:nierwp:0064

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Postal: National Institute of Economic Research, P.O. Box 3116, SE-103 62 Stockholm, Sweden
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Related research

Keywords: European economic forecast accuracy; directional forecast accuracy.;


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Cited by:
  1. Herman O. Stekler, 2008. "What Do We Know About G-7 Macro Forecasts?," Working Papers 2008-009, The George Washington University, Department of Economics, Research Program on Forecasting.
  2. Antipin, Jan-Erik & Boumediene, Farid Jimmy & Österholm, Pär, 2013. "On the Usefulness of Constant Gain Least Squares when Forecasting the Unemployment Rate," Working Paper 129, National Institute of Economic Research.
  3. Beechey, Meredith & Österholm, Pär, 2013. "Central Bank Forecasts of Policy Interest Rates: An Evaluation of the First Years," Working Paper 128, National Institute of Economic Research.
  4. Österholm, Pär, 2013. "Survey Data and Short-Term Forecasts of Swedish GDP Growth," Working Paper 130, National Institute of Economic Research.
  5. Ullrich Heilemann & Herman Stekler, 2010. "Perspectives on Evaluating Macroeconomic Forecasts," Working Papers 2010-002, The George Washington University, Department of Economics, Research Program on Forecasting.
  6. Fildes, Robert & Stekler, Herman, 2002. "The state of macroeconomic forecasting," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 435-468, December.
  7. Vartiainen, Juhana, 2010. "Interpreting Wage Bargaining Norms," Working Paper 116, National Institute of Economic Research.
  8. repec:lan:wpaper:539557 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Österholm, Pär, 2013. "Forecasting Business Investment in the Short Term Using Survey Data," Working Paper 131, National Institute of Economic Research.
  10. Östblom, Göran & Ljunggren Söderman, Maria & Sjöström, Magnus, 2010. "Analysing future solid waste generation - Soft linking a model of waste management with a CGE-model for Sweden," Working Paper 118, National Institute of Economic Research.


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