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Federal Reserve Information During the Great Moderation

  • Antonello D'Agostino
  • Karl Whelan

Using data from the period 1970-1991, Romer and Romer (2000) showed that that Federal Reserve forecasts of inflation and output were superior to those provided by commercial forecasters. In this paper, we show that this superior forecasting performance deteriorated after 1991. Over the decade 1992-2001, the superior forecast accuracy of the Fed held only over a very short time horizon and was limited to its forecasts of inflation. In addition, the performance of both the Fed and the commercial forecasters in predicting inflation and output, relative to that of "naive" benchmark models, dropped remarkably during this period. (JEL: E58, E31) (c) 2008 by the European Economic Association.

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Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Journal of the European Economic Association.

Volume (Year): 6 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2-3 (04-05)
Pages: 609-620

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:jeurec:v:6:y:2008:i:2-3:p:609-620
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  1. Andrew Atkeson & Lee E. Ohanian., 2001. "Are Phillips curves useful for forecasting inflation?," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 2-11.
  2. D'Agostino, Antonello & Domenico, Giannone & Surico, Paolo, 2006. "(Un)Predictability and Macroeconomic Stability," Research Technical Papers 5/RT/06, Central Bank of Ireland.
  3. Christopher A. Sims, 2002. "The Role of Models and Probabilities in the Monetary Policy Process," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 33(2), pages 1-62.
  4. Faust Jon & Swanson Eric T & Wright Jonathan H, 2004. "Do Federal Reserve Policy Surprises Reveal Superior Information about the Economy?," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-31, October.
  5. Campbell, Sean D., 2007. "Macroeconomic Volatility, Predictability, and Uncertainty in the Great Moderation: Evidence From the Survey of Professional Forecasters," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 25, pages 191-200, April.
  6. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2006. "Why Has U.S. Inflation Become Harder to Forecast?," NBER Working Papers 12324, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. David H. Romer & Christina D. Romer, 2000. "Federal Reserve Information and the Behavior of Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 429-457, June.
  8. Peter Tulip, 2005. "Has output become more predictable? changes in Greenbook forecast accuracy," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2005-31, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. repec:fip:fedgsq:y:2006:i:mar20 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Ben S. Bernanke, 2006. "Reflections on the yield curve and monetary policy," Speech 175, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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