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Forecasting professional forecasters

Author

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  • Eric Ghysels
  • Jonathan H. Wright

Abstract

Survey of forecasters, containing respondents' predictions of future values of growth, inflation and other key macroeconomic variables, receive a lot of attention in the financial press, from investors, and from policy makers. They are apparently widely perceived to provide useful information about agents' expectations. Nonetheless, these survey forecasts suffer from the crucial disadvantage that they are often quite stale, as they are released only infrequently, such as on a quarterly basis. In this paper, we propose methods for using asset price data to construct daily forecasts of upcoming survey releases, which we can then evaluate. Our methods allow us to estimate what professional forecasters would predict if they were asked to make a forecast each day, making it possible to measure the effects of events and news announcements on expectations. We apply these methods to forecasts for several macroeconomic variables from both the Survey of Professional Forecasters and Consensus Forecasts.

Suggested Citation

  • Eric Ghysels & Jonathan H. Wright, 2006. "Forecasting professional forecasters," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2006-10, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2006-10
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Eric Ghysels & Arthur Sinko & Rossen Valkanov, 2007. "MIDAS Regressions: Further Results and New Directions," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(1), pages 53-90.
    2. Giannone, Domenico & Reichlin, Lucrezia & Small, David, 2008. "Nowcasting: The real-time informational content of macroeconomic data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 665-676, May.
    3. David H. Romer & Christina D. Romer, 2000. "Federal Reserve Information and the Behavior of Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 429-457, June.
    4. Ghysels, Eric & Santa-Clara, Pedro & Valkanov, Rossen, 2006. "Predicting volatility: getting the most out of return data sampled at different frequencies," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 131(1-2), pages 59-95.
    5. Froot, Kenneth A, 1989. " New Hope for the Expectations Hypothesis of the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(2), pages 283-305, June.
    6. Michael P. Keane & David E. Runkle, 1998. "Are Financial Analysts' Forecasts of Corporate Profits Rational?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(4), pages 768-805, August.
    7. Ang, Andrew & Bekaert, Geert & Wei, Min, 2007. "Do macro variables, asset markets, or surveys forecast inflation better?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 1163-1212, May.
    8. Christoph Schleicher, 2003. "Kolmogorov-Wiener Filters for Finite Time Series," Computing in Economics and Finance 2003 109, Society for Computational Economics.
    9. Martin D. D. Evans, 2005. "Where Are We Now? Real-Time Estimates of the Macroeconomy," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 1(2), September.
    10. Tilman Ehrbeck & Robert Waldmann, 1996. "Why Are Professional Forecasters Biased? Agency versus Behavioral Explanations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(1), pages 21-40.
    11. Ghysels, Eric & Santa-Clara, Pedro & Valkanov, Rossen, 2005. "There is a risk-return trade-off after all," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, pages 509-548.
    12. Yash P. Mehra, 2002. "Survey measures of expected inflation : revisiting the issues of predictive content and rationality," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Sum, pages 17-36.
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    14. Graham Elliott & Allan Timmermann & Ivana Komunjer, 2005. "Estimation and Testing of Forecast Rationality under Flexible Loss," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(4), pages 1107-1125.
    15. Ghysels, Eric & Santa-Clara, Pedro & Valkanov, Rossen, 2004. "The MIDAS Touch: Mixed Data Sampling Regression Models," University of California at Los Angeles, Anderson Graduate School of Management qt9mf223rs, Anderson Graduate School of Management, UCLA.
    16. Lamont, Owen A., 2002. "Macroeconomic forecasts and microeconomic forecasters," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 265-280, July.
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    18. Giannone, Domenico & Reichlin, Lucrezia & Small, David, 2005. "Nowcasting GDP and Inflation: The Real Time Informational Content of Macroeconomic Data Releases," CEPR Discussion Papers 5178, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    19. 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. Charles Engel & John H Rogers, 2009. "Expected Consumption Growth from Cross-Country Surveys: Implications for Assessing International Capital Markets," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 56(3), pages 543-573, August.
    2. Clements, Michael P & Galvão, Ana Beatriz, 2006. "Macroeconomic Forecasting with Mixed Frequency Data : Forecasting US output growth and inflation," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 773, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    3. Rodriguez, Abel & Puggioni, Gavino, 2010. "Mixed frequency models: Bayesian approaches to estimation and prediction," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 293-311, April.
    4. Michael P. Clements & Ana Beatriz Galvão, 2007. "Macroeconomic Forecasting with Mixed Frequency Data: Forecasting US Output Growth," Working Papers 616, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.

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    Keywords

    Economic forecasting;

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