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The track record of the Commission's forecasts - an update

Author

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  • A. Melander
  • G. Sismanidis
  • D. Grenouilleau

Abstract

This paper has updated the assessment of the Commission's forecasts' track record from 1999 by extending the observation period from 1969-1997 to also take into account the forecasts and outcome for the years 1998-2005. This update has also included some further tests on e.g. informational efficiency and undertaken a comparison with the forecasts of other international institutions and those of market participants. The tests were carried out on the forecasts for real GDP growth, total investment, inflation, the unemployment rate, the general government balance and the current account to GDP ratio. Data have been processed in a broadly similar manner compared to the study of 1999 to ensure comparability to the greatest degree possible. Overall, the Commission's forecasts continue to dispose a reasonable track record. For instance, the forecast error for the GDP forecast, as measured by the mean absolute error, has improved by 0.03 percentage point (pp.) to 0.5 pp. for the current-year outlook and by 0.08 pp. to 0.86 pp. for the year ahead. This implies that the Commission's forecasts for GDP growth has, on average, proven to be 0.5 pp. too high / low for the current year. Forecasts for the EU generally seem to be unbiased, efficient and display a high success rate for directional accuracy. The same holds true for the outlook for most Member States, although there are individual examples to the contrary. Moreover, in view of the importance of the international environment in explaining past forecast errors, it is reassuring to note that the forecasts for the largest non-EU countries generally seem to perform well. Finally, the Commission's forecasts' track record for GDP is broadly comparable with the ones of Consensus, the IMF and the OECD.

Suggested Citation

  • A. Melander & G. Sismanidis & D. Grenouilleau, 2007. "The track record of the Commission's forecasts - an update," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 291, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  • Handle: RePEc:euf:ecopap:0291
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    File URL: http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/publications/pages/publication9291_en.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Teresa Leal & Javier J. Pérez & Mika Tujula & Jean-Pierre Vidal, 2008. "Fiscal Forecasting: Lessons from the Literature and Challenges," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 29(3), pages 347-386, September.
    2. Afonso, António & Nunes, Ana Sofia, 2015. "Economic forecasts and sovereign yields," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 319-326.
    3. Mihaela Simionescu (Bratu), 2014. "The Performance of Predictions Based on the Dobrescu Macromodel for the Romanian Economy," Journal for Economic Forecasting, Institute for Economic Forecasting, vol. 0(3), pages 179-195, October.
    4. SIMIONESCU, Mihaela, 2014. "Assessing The Forecasts Accuracy Of The Weight Of Fiscal Revenues In Gdp For Romania," Studii Financiare (Financial Studies), Centre of Financial and Monetary Research "Victor Slavescu", vol. 18(3), pages 8-24.
    5. Merola, Rossana & Pérez, Javier J., 2013. "Fiscal forecast errors: Governments versus independent agencies?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 285-299.
    6. Grant Allan, 2012. "Evaluating the usefulness of forecasts of relative growth," Working Papers 1214, University of Strathclyde Business School, Department of Economics.
    7. Carriero, Andrea & Mumtaz, Haroon & Theophilopoulou, Angeliki, 2015. "Macroeconomic information, structural change, and the prediction of fiscal aggregates," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 325-348.
    8. Ildeberta Abreu, 2011. "International organisations’ vs. private analysts’ forecasts: an evaluation," Working Papers w201120, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    9. Döhrn, Roland, 2015. "Prognosen für 2015 im Rückblick," RWI Konjunkturberichte, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, vol. 66(4), pages 35-46.
    10. Carlos Fonseca Marinheiro, 2010. "Fiscal sustainability and the accuracy of macroeconomic forecasts: do supranational forecasts rather than government forecasts make a difference?," GEMF Working Papers 2010-07, GEMF, Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra.
    11. António Afonso & Jorge Silva, 2015. "The track record of fiscal forecasting in the EU," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 35(2), pages 1318-1329.

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