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Evaluating inflation forecasts

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  • Dean Croushore

Abstract

In the early 1980s, economists tested inflation forecasts and found that the forecasts were very bad. Either the surveys didn't capture forecasters' expectations, or forecasters didn't have rational expectations. However, the sample period being examined consisted mostly of data from the volatile 1970s, when forecasting was extremely difficult. The question is: If we run the same types of tests that were performed 15 years ago on an updated sample, will we find the same problems with the forecasts? This paper finds that much of the empirical work from 15 years ago does not stand the test of time. The forecast errors from the surveys aren't nearly as bad today as they were in the 1970s. However, some problems remain in the forecasts. It appears to be possible to improve inflation forecasts over some sample periods using bias regressions, and the forecasts don't pass all tests for optimality.

Suggested Citation

  • Dean Croushore, 1998. "Evaluating inflation forecasts," Working Papers 98-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:98-14
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. Newey, Whitney & West, Kenneth, 2014. "A simple, positive semi-definite, heteroscedasticity and autocorrelation consistent covariance matrix," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 33(1), pages 125-132.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 2002. "Assessing Nominal Income Rules for Monetary Policy with Model and Data Uncertainty," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(479), pages 402-432, April.
    2. Carlos Capistrán & Allan Timmermann, 2009. "Disagreement and Biases in Inflation Expectations," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(2-3), pages 365-396, March.
    3. Pfajfar, Damjan & Santoro, Emiliano, 2010. "Heterogeneity, learning and information stickiness in inflation expectations," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 75(3), pages 426-444, September.
    4. Arabinda Basistha & Richard Startz, 2004. "Why were changes in the federal funds rate smaller in the 1990s?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(3), pages 339-354.
    5. Ball, Laurence & Croushore, Dean, 2003. " Expectations and the Effects of Monetary Policy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 35(4), pages 473-484, August.
    6. Lance J. Bachmeier & Norman R. Swanson, 2005. "Predicting Inflation: Does The Quantity Theory Help?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 43(3), pages 570-585, July.
    7. Nicholas S. Souleles, 2001. "Consumer Sentiment: Its Rationality and Usefulness in Forecasting Expenditure - Evidence from the Michigan Micro Data," NBER Working Papers 8410, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Michael T. Kiley, 2008. "Monetary policy actions and long-run inflation expectations," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2008-03, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    9. Milani, Fabio, 2008. "Learning, monetary policy rules, and macroeconomic stability," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(10), pages 3148-3165, October.
    10. 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.
    11. Bharat Trehan, 2015. "Survey Measures of Expected Inflation and the Inflation Process," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 47(1), pages 207-222, February.
    12. Christopher D. Carroll, 2001. "The Epidemiology of Macroeconomic Expectations," NBER Working Papers 8695, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Gerberding, Christina, 2001. "The information content of survey data on expected price developments for monetary policy," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2001,09, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    14. Ivo Arnold & Evert Vrugt, 2012. "Forecasting with the Taylor rule," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(18), pages 1501-1510, September.
    15. Jordi Pons-Novell, 2003. "Strategic bias, herding behaviour and economic forecasts," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(1), pages 67-77.
    16. Croushore Dean, 2010. "An Evaluation of Inflation Forecasts from Surveys Using Real-Time Data," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-32, May.
    17. Ricardo Nunes, 2009. "On the Epidemiological Microfoundations of Sticky Information," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 71(5), pages 643-657, October.
    18. Croushore, D., 2002. "Comments on 'The state of macroeconomic forecasting'," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 483-489, December.
    19. Raymond Struyk & Douglas Wissoker & Ioulia Zaitseva, 2004. "Economic Forecasting for Large Russian Cities," ERSA conference papers ersa04p318, European Regional Science Association.
    20. Grant, Alan P. & Thomas, Lloyd B., 2001. "Supply shocks and the rationality of inflation forecasts," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 515-532.
    21. Emiliano Santoro & Damjan Pfajfar, 2006. "Heterogeneity and learning in inflation expectation formation: an empirical assessment," Department of Economics Working Papers 0607, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
    22. Dean Croushore & Tom Stark, 2002. "Forecasting coin demand," Working Papers 02-15, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, revised 01 Mar 2003.

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    Keywords

    Forecasting ; Inflation (Finance);

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