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Evaluating the economic forecasts of FOMC members

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  • Sheng, Xuguang (Simon)

Abstract

This paper provides a detailed analysis of the forecasts of real GDP, inflation and unemployment made by individual members of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) for the period 1992–2003. Despite a general tendency for the committee members to underpredict real GDP over the sample period, we find evidence suggesting that the FOMC has a considerable amount of information about output growth, beyond what is known by commercial forecasters. We also document a substantial level of variation in the members’ forecasts, which can be explained in part by the differences in economic conditions between Federal Reserve districts. The members’ heterogeneous forecasts for output growth and inflation contain useful information for explaining their preferred policy settings, beyond that in the Greenbook forecasts.

Suggested Citation

  • Sheng, Xuguang (Simon), 2015. "Evaluating the economic forecasts of FOMC members," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 165-175.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:intfor:v:31:y:2015:i:1:p:165-175
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ijforecast.2014.03.001
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    Cited by:

    1. El-Shagi, Makram & Giesen, Sebastian & Jung, Alexander, 2016. "Revisiting the relative forecast performances of Fed staff and private forecasters: A dynamic approach," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 313-323.
    2. Messina, Jeffrey D. & Sinclair, Tara M. & Stekler, Herman, 2015. "What can we learn from revisions to the Greenbook forecasts?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 54-62.
    3. Stekler, Herman & Symington, Hilary, 2016. "Evaluating qualitative forecasts: The FOMC minutes, 2006–2010," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 559-570.
    4. Ericsson, Neil R., 2016. "Eliciting GDP forecasts from the FOMC’s minutes around the financial crisis," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 571-583.
    5. Hamza Bennani, 2016. "Measuring Monetary Policy Stress for Fed District Representatives," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 63(2), pages 156-176, May.
    6. Ellis, Michael A. & Liu, Dandan, 2016. "FOMC forecasts and monetary policy deliberations," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 147(C), pages 131-134.

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