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Optimal Combination of Survey Forecasts

Author

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  • Giannone, Domenico
  • De Mol, Christine
  • Conflitti, Cristina

Abstract

We consider the problem of optimally combining individual forecasts of gross domestic product (GDP) and inflation from the Survey of Professional Forecasters (SPF) dataset for the Euro Area. Contrary to the common practice of using equal combination weights, we compute optimal weights which minimize the mean square forecast error (MSFE) in the case of point forecasts and maximize a logarithmic score in the case of density forecasts. We show that this is a viable strategy even when the number of forecasts to combine gets large, provided we constrain these weights to be positive and to sum to one. Indeed, this enforces a form of shrinkage on the weights which ensures good out-of-sample performance of the combined forecasts.

Suggested Citation

  • Giannone, Domenico & De Mol, Christine & Conflitti, Cristina, 2012. "Optimal Combination of Survey Forecasts," CEPR Discussion Papers 9096, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9096
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Forecast combination; Forecast evaluation; High-dimensional data; Real-time data; Shrinkage; Survey of professional forecasters;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes
    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods

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