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Real-Time Analysis of Oil Price Risks Using Forecast Scenarios


  • Christiane Baumeister
  • Lutz Kilian


Recently, there has been increased interest in real-time forecasts of the real price of crude oil. Standard oil price forecasts based on reduced-form regressions or based on oil futures prices do not allow consumers of forecasts to explore how much the forecast would change relative to the baseline forecast under alternative scenarios about future oil demand and oil supply conditions. Such scenario analysis is of central importance for end-users of oil price forecasts interested in evaluating the risks underlying these forecasts. We show how policy-relevant forecast scenarios can be constructed from recently proposed structural vector autoregressive models of the global oil market and how changes in the probability weights attached to these scenarios affect the upside and downside risks embodied in the baseline real-time oil price forecast. Such risk analysis helps forecast users understand what assumptions are driving the forecast. An application to real-time data for December 2010 illustrates the use of these tools in conjunction with reduced-form vector autoregressive forecasts of the real price of oil, the superior realtime forecast accuracy of which has recently been established.

Suggested Citation

  • Christiane Baumeister & Lutz Kilian, 2012. "Real-Time Analysis of Oil Price Risks Using Forecast Scenarios," Staff Working Papers 12-1, Bank of Canada.
  • Handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:12-1

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Christiane Baumeister & Gert Peersman, 2013. "Time-Varying Effects of Oil Supply Shocks on the US Economy," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(4), pages 1-28, October.
    2. Domenico Giannone & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2006. "Does information help recovering structural shocks from past observations?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(2-3), pages 455-465, 04-05.
    3. Bénédicte Vidaillet & V. D'Estaintot & P. Abécassis, 2005. "Introduction," Post-Print hal-00287137, HAL.
    4. Ron Alquist & Lutz Kilian, 2010. "What do we learn from the price of crude oil futures?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(4), pages 539-573.
    5. Lutz Kilian & Daniel P. Murphy, 2012. "Why Agnostic Sign Restrictions Are Not Enough: Understanding The Dynamics Of Oil Market Var Models," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(5), pages 1166-1188, October.
    6. Christiane Baumeister & Gert Peersman, 2013. "The Role Of Time‐Varying Price Elasticities In Accounting For Volatility Changes In The Crude Oil Market," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(7), pages 1087-1109, November.
    7. Lutz Kilian, 2008. "Exogenous Oil Supply Shocks: How Big Are They and How Much Do They Matter for the U.S. Economy?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(2), pages 216-240, May.
    8. Martin Bodenstein & Luca Guerrieri, 2011. "Oil efficiency, demand, and prices: a tale of ups and downs," International Finance Discussion Papers 1031, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    9. Lutz Kilian, 2009. "Not All Oil Price Shocks Are Alike: Disentangling Demand and Supply Shocks in the Crude Oil Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 1053-1069, June.
    10. Lutz Kilian & Simone Manganelli, 2007. "Quantifying the Risk of Deflation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(2-3), pages 561-590, March.
    11. Daniel F. Waggoner & Tao Zha, 1999. "Conditional Forecasts In Dynamic Multivariate Models," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 639-651, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kilian, Lutz & Lee, Thomas K., 2014. "Quantifying the speculative component in the real price of oil: The role of global oil inventories," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 71-87.
    2. Lutz Kilian, 2017. "The Impact of the Fracking Boom on Arab Oil Producers," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 6).
    3. Van Robays, Ine & Belu Mănescu, Cristiana, 2014. "Forecasting the Brent oil price: addressing time-variation in forecast performance," Working Paper Series 1735, European Central Bank.
    4. Shiu-Sheng Chen, 2014. "Forecasting Crude Oil Price Movements With Oil-Sensitive Stocks," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 52(2), pages 830-844, April.
    5. repec:eee:eneeco:v:66:y:2017:i:c:p:337-348 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Mokinski, Frieder, 2017. "A severity function approach to scenario selection," Discussion Papers 34/2017, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    7. Wang, Yudong & Liu, Li & Diao, Xundi & Wu, Chongfeng, 2015. "Forecasting the real prices of crude oil under economic and statistical constraints," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 599-608.
    8. 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.
    9. Bańbura, Marta & Giannone, Domenico & Lenza, Michele, 2015. "Conditional forecasts and scenario analysis with vector autoregressions for large cross-sections," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 739-756.
    10. Christiane Baumeister & Lutz Kilian, 2016. "Understanding the Decline in the Price of Oil since June 2014," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages 131-158.
    11. Clark, Todd E. & McCracken, Michael W., 2014. "Evaluating Conditional Forecasts from Vector Autoregressions," Working Papers 2014-25, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    12. Lutz Kilian & Robert J. Vigfusson, 2017. "The Role of Oil Price Shocks in Causing U.S. Recessions," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 49(8), pages 1747-1776, December.
    13. Nick, Sebastian & Thoenes, Stefan, 2014. "What drives natural gas prices? — A structural VAR approach," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 517-527.
    14. Delle Chiaie, S., 2013. "Pétrole et macroéconomie - Synthèse de l’atelier Banque de France du 14 novembre 2012," Bulletin de la Banque de France, Banque de France, issue 192, pages 111-116.
    15. Baumeister, Christiane & Kilian, Lutz & Lee, Thomas K., 2014. "Are there gains from pooling real-time oil price forecasts?," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(S1), pages 33-43.
    16. repec:ove:journl:aid:11280 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. 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.
    18. Lutz Kilian, 2013. "Structural vector autoregressions," Chapters,in: Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Empirical Macroeconomics, chapter 22, pages 515-554 Edward Elgar Publishing.

    More about this item


    Econometric and statistical methods; International topics;

    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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