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For how long do IMF forecasts of world economic growth stay up-to-date?

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  • Heinisch, Katja
  • Lindner, Axel

Abstract

This study analyses the performance of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) World Economic Outlook output forecasts for the world and for both the advanced economies and the emerging and developing economies. With a focus on the forecast for the current year and the next year, we examine the durability of IMF forecasts, looking at how much time has to pass so that IMF forecasts can be improved by using leading indicators with monthly updates. Using a real-time data set for GDP and for indicators, we find that some simple single-indicator forecasts on the basis of data that are available at higher frequency can significantly outperform the IMF forecasts as soon as the publication of the IMF’s Outlook is only a few months old. In particular, there is an obvious gain using leading indicators from January to March for the forecast of the current year.

Suggested Citation

  • Heinisch, Katja & Lindner, Axel, 2018. "For how long do IMF forecasts of world economic growth stay up-to-date?," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 1-6.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:espost:180842
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    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/180842/3/For%20how%20long%20do%20IMF%20forecasts%20of%20world%20economic%20growth%20stay%20up%20to%20date.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Raffaella Giacomini & Halbert White, 2006. "Tests of Conditional Predictive Ability," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(6), pages 1545-1578, November.
    2. Laurent Ferrara & Clément Marsilli, 2019. "Nowcasting global economic growth: A factor‐augmented mixed‐frequency approach," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(3), pages 846-875, March.
    3. Yock Y. Chong & David F. Hendry, 1986. "Econometric Evaluation of Linear Macro-Economic Models," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(4), pages 671-690.
    4. Axel Dreher & Silvia Marchesi & James Vreeland, 2008. "The political economy of IMF forecasts," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 137(1), pages 145-171, October.
    5. Frenkel, Michael & Rülke, Jan-Christoph & Zimmermann, Lilli, 2013. "Do private sector forecasters chase after IMF or OECD forecasts?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 217-229.
    6. Audrone Jakaitiene & Stephane Dees, 2012. "Forecasting the World Economy in the Short Term," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(3), pages 331-350, March.
    7. Yi Zheng & James Rossiter, 2006. "Using Monthly Indicators to Predict Quarterly GDP," Staff Working Papers 06-26, Bank of Canada.
    8. Golinelli, Roberto & Parigi, Giuseppe, 2014. "Tracking world trade and GDP in real time," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 847-862.
    9. Allan Timmermann, 2007. "An Evaluation of the World Economic Outlook Forecasts," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 54(1), pages 1-33, May.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    IMF WEO forecasts; leading indicators; real-time data;

    JEL classification:

    • C52 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Evaluation, Validation, and Selection
    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods
    • E02 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Institutions and the Macroeconomy
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E37 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • O19 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations

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