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Does the federal reserve staff still beat private forecasters?

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  • Jung, Alexander
  • El-Shagi, Makram
  • Giesen, Sebastian

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to assess whether the findings of Romer and Romer (2000) on the superiority of staff forecasts are still valid today. The paper uses both latest available econometric techniques as well as conventional tests. Several tests for forecast rationality show that a necessary condition for good forecast performance is satisfied both for Greenbook and private forecasts, as measured by the Survey of Professional Forecasters (SPF). Tests for forecast accuracy and the encompassing test confirm the superiority of Greenbook forecasts for inflation and output using an extended sample (1968 to 2006). The relative forecast performance is, however, not robust in the presence of large macroeconomic shocks such as the Great Moderation and oil price shocks. Other econometric tests show that a relative better forecast performance by staff is observed when there is increased uncertainty. Staff JEL Classification: C53, E37, E52, E58

Suggested Citation

  • Jung, Alexander & El-Shagi, Makram & Giesen, Sebastian, 2014. "Does the federal reserve staff still beat private forecasters?," Working Paper Series 1635, European Central Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20141635
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    File URL: https://www.ecb.europa.eu/pub/pdf/scpwps/ecbwp1635.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Pao-Lin Tien & Tara M. Sinclair & Edward N. Gamber, 2015. "Do Fed Forecast Errors Matter?," Wesleyan Economics Working Papers 2015-004, Wesleyan University, Department of Economics.
    2. repec:bla:jecsur:v:31:y:2017:i:3:p:678-711 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Sylvester Eijffinger & Ronald Mahieu & Louis Raes, 2017. "Can the Fed Talk the Hind Legs Off the Stock Market?," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 13(1), pages 53-94, February.
    4. Richhild Moessner & David-Jan Jansen & Jakob de Haan, 2017. "Communication About Future Policy Rates In Theory And Practice: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(3), pages 678-711, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    forecast performance; forecast rationality; forecast stability; greenbook forecasts; of professional forecasters; survey;

    JEL classification:

    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods
    • E37 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies

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