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Composite and Outlook Forecast Accuracy


  • Colino, Evelyn V.
  • Irwin, Scott H.
  • Garcia, Philip
  • Etienne, Xiaoli


This paper investigates whether the accuracy of outlook hog price forecasts can be improved using composite forecasts in an out-of-sample context. Price forecasts from four widely-recognized outlook programs are combined with futures-based forecasts, ARMA, and unrestricted Vector Autoregressive (VAR) models. Quarterly data are available from 1975.I through 2007.IV for Illinois/Purdue and 1975.I-2010.IV for Iowa, Missouri, and USDA forecasts, which allow for a relatively long out-of-sample evaluation after permitting model specification and appropriate composite-weight training periods. Results show that futures and numerous composite procedures outperform outlook forecasts, but no-change forecasts are inferior to outlook forecasts. At intermediate horizons, OLS composite procedures perform well. The superiority of futures and composite forecasts decreases at longer horizons except for an equal-weighted approach. Importantly, with few exceptions, nothing outperforms the equal-weight approach significantly in any program or horizon. In addition, the equal-weight approach as well as other composite approaches can generally produce larger trading profits compared to outlook forecasts. Overall, findings favor the use of equal-weighted composites, consistent with previous empirical findings and recent theoretical papers.

Suggested Citation

  • Colino, Evelyn V. & Irwin, Scott H. & Garcia, Philip & Etienne, Xiaoli, 2012. "Composite and Outlook Forecast Accuracy," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 37(2), August.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:jlaare:134270

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Bekkerman, Anton & Brester, Gary W. & Taylor, Mykel, 2016. "Forecasting a Moving Target: The Roles of Quality and Timing for Determining Northern U.S. Wheat Basis," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 41(1), January.
    2. Isengildina-Massa, Olga & Sharp, Julia L., 2013. "Interval Forecast Comparison," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 150791, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.


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