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Forecast evaluation with cross-sectional data: The Blue Chip Surveys

Author

Listed:
  • Andrew Bauer
  • Robert A. Eisenbeis
  • Daniel F. Waggoner
  • Tao Zha

Abstract

If economic forecasts are to be used for decision making, then being able to evaluate their accuracy is essential. Assessing accuracy using single variables from a forecast is acceptable as a first pass, but this approach has inherent problems. This article addresses some of these problems by evaluating and comparing the general accuracy of a set of multivariate forecasts over time. ; Using the methodology developed in Eisenbeis, Waggoner, and Zha (2002), the authors compare the economic forecasts in the Blue Chip Economic Indicators Survey. The survey, published monthly since 1977, contains forecasts of many macroeconomic variables over a relatively long time span. The forecasters are a mix of economists from major investment banks, corporations, consulting firms, and academic institutions, many of whom have participated in the survey for several years. The survey thus provides a useful set of forecasts to explore the methodologies and to investigate several aspects of forecast performance over time. ; The methodology assigns each forecast a composite score based on the standard theory of probability and statistics. This single number is easy to interpret and can be used to compare forecasts even if the number of variables being forecast, or their definitions, changes over time. ; The analysis shows that the Blue Chip Consensus Forecast, which is the average of the individual forecasts, performs better than any individual forecaster although several forecasters performed almost as well as the consensus.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew Bauer & Robert A. Eisenbeis & Daniel F. Waggoner & Tao Zha, 2003. "Forecast evaluation with cross-sectional data: The Blue Chip Surveys," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q2, pages 17-31.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedaer:y:2003:i:q2:p:17-31:n:v.88no.2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ottaviani, Marco & Sorensen, Peter Norman, 2006. "The strategy of professional forecasting," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 441-466, August.
    2. Robert A. Eisenbeis & Daniel F. Waggoner & Tao Zha, 2002. "Evaluating Wall Street Journal survey forecasters: a multivariate approach," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2002-8, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:wly:jforec:v:36:y:2017:i:7:p:784-794 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Leon W. Berkelmans, 2008. "Imperfect information and monetary models: multiple shocks and their consequences," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2008-58, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    3. Dovern, Jonas & Feldkircher, Martin & Huber, Florian, 2016. "Does joint modelling of the world economy pay off? Evaluating global forecasts from a Bayesian GVAR," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 86-100.
    4. Baghestani, Hamid, 2006. "An evaluation of the professional forecasts of U.S. long-term interest rates," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 177-191.
    5. Frank A. G. den Butter & Pieter W. Jansen, 2013. "Beating the random walk: a performance assessment of long-term interest rate forecasts," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(9), pages 749-765, May.
    6. Kirdan Lees, 2016. "Assessing forecast performance," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Bulletin, Reserve Bank of New Zealand, vol. 79, pages 1-19., June.
    7. Jon Huntley & Eric Miller, 2009. "An Evaluation of CBO Forecasts: Working Paper 2009-02," Working Papers 41195, Congressional Budget Office.
    8. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2015. "Information Rigidity and the Expectations Formation Process: A Simple Framework and New Facts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(8), pages 2644-2678, August.
    9. Dovern, Jonas & Feldkircher, Martin & Huber, Florian, 2015. "Does Joint Modelling of the World Economy Pay Off? Evaluating Multivariate Forecasts from a Bayesian GVAR," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 112999, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    10. Hans Christian Müller-Dröge & Tara M. Sinclair & H.O. Stekler, 2014. "Evaluating Forecasts of a Vector of Variables: a German Forecasting Competition," CAMA Working Papers 2014-55, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    11. Spencer D. Krane, 2006. "How professional forecasters view shocks to GDP," Working Paper Series WP-06-19, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    12. Berkelmans, Leon, 2011. "Imperfect information, multiple shocks, and policy's signaling role," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(4), pages 373-386.
    13. Mihaela SIMIONESCU, 2015. "The Evaluation of Global Accuracy of Romanian Inflation Rate Predictions Using Mahalanobis Distance," Management Dynamics in the Knowledge Economy Journal, College of Management, National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, vol. 3(1), pages 133-149, March.
    14. Carvalho, Fabia A. & Minella, André, 2012. "Survey forecasts in Brazil: A prismatic assessment of epidemiology, performance, and determinants," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 1371-1391.
    15. Stefano Eusepi & Richard Crump & Emanuel Moench & Philippe Andrade, 2014. "Noisy Information and Fundamental Disagreement," 2014 Meeting Papers 797, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    16. Andrew Bauer & Robert A. Eisenbeis & Daniel F. Waggoner & Tao Zha, 2006. "Transparency, expectations and forecasts," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q 1, pages 1-25.
    17. Andrade, Philippe & Crump, Richard K. & Eusepi, Stefano & Moench, Emanuel, 2016. "Fundamental disagreement," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 106-128.
    18. Devereux, Michael B. & Smith, Gregor W. & Yetman, James, 2012. "Consumption and real exchange rates in professional forecasts," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 33-42.
    19. Spencer D. Krane, 2011. "Professional Forecasters' View of Permanent and Transitory Shocks to GDP," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 184-211, January.
    20. Kézdi, Gábor & Mátyás, László & Balázsi, László & Divényi, János Károly, 2014. "A közgazdasági adatforradalom és a panelökonometria
      [The revolution in economic data and panel econometrics]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(11), pages 1319-1340.
    21. Michael K Andersson & Ted Aranki & André Reslow, 2017. "Adjusting for information content when comparing forecast performance," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 36(7), pages 784-794, November.

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    Keywords

    Forecasting ; Economic indicators;

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