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Has output become more predictable? changes in Greenbook forecast accuracy


  • Peter Tulip


Several researchers have recently documented a large reduction in output volatility. In contrast, this paper examines whether output has become more predictable. Using forecasts from the Federal Reserve Greenbooks, I find the evidence is somewhat mixed. Output seems to have become more predictable at short horizons, but not necessarily at longer horizons. The reduction in unpredictability is much less than the reduction in volatility. Associated with this, recent forecasts had little predictive power.

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  • Peter Tulip, 2005. "Has output become more predictable? changes in Greenbook forecast accuracy," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2005-31, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2005-31

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Olivier Blanchard & John Simon, 2001. "The Long and Large Decline in U.S. Output Volatility," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 32(1), pages 135-174.
    2. Chang-Jin Kim & Charles R. Nelson, 1999. "Has The U.S. Economy Become More Stable? A Bayesian Approach Based On A Markov-Switching Model Of The Business Cycle," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 608-616, November.
    3. Andrew Atkeson & Lee E. Ohanian, 2001. "Are Phillips curves useful for forecasting inflation?," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 2-11.
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    Cited by:

    1. Daniel L. Thornton, 2012. "How did we get to inflation targeting and where do we need to go to now? a perspective from the U.S. experience," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jan, pages 65-81.
    2. Antonello D'Agostino & Karl Whelan, 2008. "Federal Reserve Information During the Great Moderation," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 609-620, 04-05.
    3. Rochelle M. Edge & Michael T. Kiley & Jean-Philippe Laforte, 2010. "A comparison of forecast performance between Federal Reserve staff forecasts, simple reduced-form models, and a DSGE model," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(4), pages 720-754.
    4. Fabio Canova & Luca Gambetti, 2010. "Do Expectations Matter? The Great Moderation Revisited," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 183-205, July.
    5. Paul Hubert, 2009. "An Empirical Review of Federal Reserve’s Informational Advantage," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2009-03, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
    6. Jon Faust & Jonathan H. Wright, 2007. "Comparing Greenbook and Reduced Form Forecasts using a Large Realtime Dataset," NBER Working Papers 13397, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Rochelle M. Edge & Jeremy B. Rudd, 2016. "Real-Time Properties of the Federal Reserve's Output Gap," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 98(4), pages 785-791, October.
    8. Todd E. Clark & Michael W. McCracken, 2006. "Forecasting of small macroeconomic VARs in the presence of instabilities," Research Working Paper RWP 06-09, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
    9. Rudebusch, Glenn D. & Williams, John C., 2009. "Forecasting Recessions: The Puzzle of the Enduring Power of the Yield Curve," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 27(4), pages 492-503.
    10. Sweder van Wijnbergen & Tim Willems, 2013. "Imperfect information, lagged labour adjustment, and the Great Moderation," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(2), pages 219-239, April.
    11. Ironside, Brian & Tetlow, Robert J., 2005. "Real-Time Model Uncertainty in the United States: the Fed from 1996-2003," CEPR Discussion Papers 5305, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2005. "Central Bank Transparency and the Signal Value of Prices," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 36(2), pages 1-66.
    13. Daniel L. Thornton, 2009. "How did we get to inflation targeting and where do we go now? a perspective from the U.S. experience," Working Papers 2009-038, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    14. David L. Reifschneider & Peter Tulip, 2007. "Gauging the uncertainty of the economic outlook from historical forecasting errors," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2007-60, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    15. Paul Hubert, 2010. "Monetary Policy, Imperfect Information and the Expectations Channel," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/f4rshpf3v1u, Sciences Po.
    16. David Wilcox, 2005. "Discussion of 'What Caused the Decline in US Business Cycle Volatility?'," RBA Annual Conference Volume,in: Christopher Kent & David Norman (ed.), The Changing Nature of the Business Cycle Reserve Bank of Australia.
    17. Goodhart, Charles, 2005. "An Essay on the interactions between the Bank of England's forecasts, the MPC's policy adjustments, and the eventual outcome," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 24665, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    18. Yash P. Mehra, 2006. "Inflation uncertainty and the recent low level of the long bond rate," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Sum, pages 225-253.

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