IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Measuring the Accuracy of Federal Reserve Forecasts


  • Lillian R. Gaeto
  • Sandeep Mazumder


Markets across the world pay enormous attention to every economic forecast made by Federal Reserve governors, particularly those from the chair. This article develops a new way that the academic literature can assess the accuracy of these Federal Reserve forecasts. In particular, our proposed method allows for both general and specific predictions to be assessed, while also accounting for the macroeconomic volatility that prevails at the time of the forecast. To develop this measure, we expand upon a methodology proposed by the Wall Street Journal to score the accuracy of forecasts made by the Fed. Our results show that Alan Greenspan was consistently the most accurate forecaster among Fed governors, while the most recent chair in our sample, Janet Yellen, has performed relatively poorly. More generally, we find that the chairs have become less accurate over time with their forecasts and have also tended to make fewer specific predictions.

Suggested Citation

  • Lillian R. Gaeto & Sandeep Mazumder, 2019. "Measuring the Accuracy of Federal Reserve Forecasts," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 85(3), pages 960-984, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:soecon:v:85:y:2019:i:3:p:960-984
    DOI: 10.1002/soej.12312

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wly:soecon:v:85:y:2019:i:3:p:960-984. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley Content Delivery). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.