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Forecasting the Real Price of Oil in a Changing World: A Forecast Combination Approach*

* This paper has been replicated

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  • Christiane Baumeister
  • Lutz Kilian

Abstract

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) regularly publishes monthly and quarterly forecasts of the price of crude oil for horizons up to 2 years, which are widely used by practitioners. Traditionally, such out-of-sample forecasts have been largely judgmental, making them difficult to replicate and justify. An alternative is the use of real-time econometric oil price forecasting models. We investigate the merits of constructing combinations of six such models. Forecast combinations have received little attention in the oil price forecasting literature to date. We demonstrate that over the last 20 years suitably constructed real-time forecast combinations would have been systematically more accurate than the no-change forecast at horizons up to 6 quarters or 18 months. The MSPE reductions may be as high as 12% and directional accuracy as high as 72%. The gains in accuracy are robust over time. In contrast, the EIA oil price forecasts not only tend to be less accurate than no-change forecasts, but are much less accurate than our preferred forecast combination. Moreover, including EIA forecasts in the forecast combination systematically lowers the accuracy of the combination forecast. We conclude that suitably constructed forecast combinations should replace traditional judgmental forecasts of the price of oil.

Suggested Citation

  • Christiane Baumeister & Lutz Kilian, 2015. "Forecasting the Real Price of Oil in a Changing World: A Forecast Combination Approach," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(3), pages 338-351, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jnlbes:v:33:y:2015:i:3:p:338-351
    DOI: 10.1080/07350015.2014.949342
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Trevor A. Reeve & Robert J. Vigfusson, 2011. "Evaluating the forecasting performance of commodity futures prices," International Finance Discussion Papers 1025, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    2. Christiane Baumeister & Lutz Kilian & Xiaoqing Zhou, 2013. "Are Product Spreads Useful for Forecasting? An Empirical Evaluation of the Verleger Hypothesis," Staff Working Papers 13-25, Bank of Canada.
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    Replication

    This item has been replicated by:
  • Anthony Garratt & Shaun P. Vahey & Yunyi Zhang, 2019. "Real‐time forecast combinations for the oil price," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 34(3), pages 456-462, April.
  • More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q43 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Energy and the Macroeconomy
    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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    This item is featured on the following reading lists, Wikipedia, or ReplicationWiki pages:
    1. Forecasting the Real Price of Oil in a Changing World: A Forecast Combination Approach (J Business & Econ Statistics 2015) in ReplicationWiki

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