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Exchange rate forecasting: the errors we've really made

  • Jon Faust
  • John H. Rogers
  • Jonathan H. Wright

We examine the forecasting performance of standard macro models of exchange rates in real time, using dozens of different vintages of the OECD's Main Economic Indicators database. We calculate out-of-sample forecasts as they would have been made at the time, and compare them to a random walk alternative. The resulting "time series" of forecast performance indicates that both data revisions and changes in the sample period typically have large effects on exchange rate predictability. We show that the favorable evidence of long-horizon exchange rate predictability for the DM and Yen in Mark (1995) is present in only a narrow two-year window of data vintages around that used by Mark. In addition, approximately one-third of the improved forecasting performance of Mark's monetary model over a random walk is eventually undone by data revisions. Related to this, we find the models consistently perform better using original release data than using fully revised data. Finally, we find that model-based exchange rate forecasts are sometimes better when using Federal Reserve Staff forecasts of future fundamentals instead of actual future values of fundamentals. This contradicts a cherished presumption in the literature that dates all the way back to Meese and Rogoff (1983).

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Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series International Finance Discussion Papers with number 714.

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Date of creation: 2001
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:714
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  1. Diebold, Francis X & Mariano, Roberto S, 1995. "Comparing Predictive Accuracy," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(3), pages 253-63, July.
  2. Berben, R-P. & van Dijk, D.J.C., 1998. "Does the absence of cointegration explain the typical findings in long horizon regressions?," Econometric Institute Research Papers EI 9814, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Econometric Institute.
  3. Tom Stark & Dean Croushore, 2001. "Forecasting with a real-time data set for macroeconomists," Working Papers 01-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  4. Charles Engel, 1992. "Can the Markov Switching Model Forecast Exchange Rates?," NBER Working Papers 4210, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Klaas P. Baks, 2001. "Should Investors Avoid All Actively Managed Mutual Funds? A Study in Bayesian Performance Evaluation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(1), pages 45-85, 02.
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  7. Engel, Charles & Hamilton, James D, 1990. "Long Swings in the Dollar: Are They in the Data and Do Markets Know It?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(4), pages 689-713, September.
  8. Croushore, Dean & Stark, Tom, 2001. "A real-time data set for macroeconomists," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 111-130, November.
  9. Mark, Nelson C. & Sul, Donggyu, 2001. "Nominal exchange rates and monetary fundamentals: Evidence from a small post-Bretton woods panel," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 29-52, February.
  10. Athanasios Orphanides, 2001. "Monetary Policy Rules Based on Real-Time Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 964-985, September.
  11. Hooper, Peter & Morton, John, 1982. "Fluctuations in the dollar: A model of nominal and real exchange rate determination," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 39-56, January.
  12. Chinn, Menzie D. & Meese, Richard A., 1995. "Banking on currency forecasts: How predictable is change in money?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1-2), pages 161-178, February.
  13. Frankel, Jeffrey A, 1982. "The Mystery of the Multiplying Marks: A Modification of the Monetary Model," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 64(3), pages 515-19, August.
  14. Mark, Nelson C, 1995. "Exchange Rates and Fundamentals: Evidence on Long-Horizon Predictability," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 201-18, March.
  15. Jeremy Berkowitz & Lorenzo Giorgianni, 2001. "Long-Horizon Exchange Rate Predictability?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(1), pages 81-91, February.
  16. Ronald MacDonald & Ian W. Marsh, 1997. "On Fundamentals And Exchange Rates: A Casselian Perspective," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(4), pages 655-664, November.
  17. Meese, Richard A. & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1983. "Empirical exchange rate models of the seventies : Do they fit out of sample?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1-2), pages 3-24, February.
  18. Kilian, Lutz & Taylor, Mark P., 2001. "Why is it so difficult to beat the random walk forecast of exchange rates?," Working Paper Series 0088, European Central Bank.
  19. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1991. "A simple estimator of cointegrating vectors in higher order integrated systems," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 91-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  20. Jan J. J. Groen, 1999. "Long horizon predictability of exchange rates: Is it for real?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 451-469.
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