Fiscal sustainability and the accuracy of macroeconomic forecasts: do supranational forecasts rather than government forecasts make a difference?
Credible fiscal plans that aim at restoring fiscal sustainability will be essential to counter the present increase in debt levels all across Europe. The macroeconomic scenario of such plans will be crucial. This paper assesses whether there is any advantage in delegating (part of) such power to supra-national forecasts. The evidence on the relative performance of the European Commission’s (EC) growth forecast is rather mixed, with considerable variation at the country level. Some national government forecasts (France, Italy, and Portugal) perform worse in terms of descriptive statistics than the EC forecast for all forecast horizons. For the year ahead the EC growth forecast is better than the official forecasts for almost ¾ of the EU-15 countries. All in all, since the EC forecast appears to be a good benchmark, in order to reduce the (optimistic) forecast bias, national governments could be forced to justify any large (optimistic) deviation from this benchmark when presenting their respective national stability and growth programmes.
|Date of creation:||May 2010|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||Published in Journal of Sustainable Economy 3(2): 185-209, 2011.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: + 351 239 790 500
Fax: +351 239 403511
Web page: http://www.uc.pt/en/feuc/gemf/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Diebold, Francis X & Mariano, Roberto S, 2002.
"Comparing Predictive Accuracy,"
Journal of Business & Economic Statistics,
American Statistical Association, vol. 20(1), pages 134-44, January.
- A. Melander & G. Sismanidis & D. Grenouilleau, 2007. "The track record of the Commission's forecasts - an update," European Economy - Economic Papers 291, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
- Lorenzo Forni & Sandro Momigliano, 2004.
"Cyclical sensitivity of fiscal policies based on real-time data,"
Temi di discussione (Economic working papers)
540, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
- Forni, Lorenzo & Momigliano, Sandro, 2004. "Cyclical sensitivity of fiscal policies based on real-time data," MPRA Paper 4315, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Lars Jonung & Martin Larch, 2004.
"Improving fiscal policy in the EU: the case for independent forecasts,"
European Economy - Economic Papers
210, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
- Lars Jonung & Martin Larch, 2006. "Improving fiscal policy in the EU: the case for independent forecasts," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 21(47), pages 491-534, 07.
- Athanasios Orphanides & Simon van Norden, 2002.
"The Unreliability of Output-Gap Estimates in Real Time,"
The Review of Economics and Statistics,
MIT Press, vol. 84(4), pages 569-583, November.
- Athanasios Orphanides & Simon van Norden, 1999. "The reliability of output gap estimates in real time," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-38, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Athanasios Orphanides & Simon van Norden, 1999. "The Reliability of Output Gap Estimates in Real Time," Macroeconomics 9907006, EconWPA.
- Athanasios Orphanides & Simon van Norden, 2001. "The Unreliability of Output Gap Estimates in Real Time," CIRANO Working Papers 2001s-57, CIRANO.
- Athanasios Orphanides & Simon Van_Norden, 2000. "The Reliability of Output Gap Estimates in Real Time," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0768, Econometric Society.
- Lukas Vogel, 2007. "How do the OECD Growth Projections for the G7 Economies Perform?: A Post-Mortem," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 573, OECD Publishing.
- Artis, M. & Marcellino, M., 1999.
"Fiscal Forecasting: the Track Record of the IMF, OECD and EC,"
Economics Working Papers
eco99/22, European University Institute.
- Michael Artis & Massimiliano Marcellino, 2001. "Fiscal forecasting: The track record of the IMF, OECD and EC," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 4(1), pages S20-S36.
- Artis, Michael J & Marcellino, Massimiliano, 1999. "Fiscal Forecasting: the Track Record of the IMF, OECD, and EC," CEPR Discussion Papers 2206, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Harvey, David & Leybourne, Stephen & Newbold, Paul, 1997. "Testing the equality of prediction mean squared errors," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 281-291, June.
- Allan Timmermann, 2007.
"An Evaluation of the World Economic Outlook Forecasts,"
IMF Staff Papers,
Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 54(1), pages 1-33, May.
- Allan Timmermann, 2006. "An Evaluation of the World Economic Outlook Forecasts," IMF Working Papers 06/59, International Monetary Fund.
- Carlos Marinheiro, 2007.
"The Stability and Growth Pact, Fiscal Policy Institutions, and Stabilization in Europe,"
GEMF Working Papers
2007-07, GEMF - Faculdade de Economia, Universidade de Coimbra.
- Carlos Marinheiro, 2008. "The stability and growth pact, fiscal policy institutions and stabilization in Europe," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 189-207, July.
- Lu�s Gordo Mora & Jo�o Nogueira Martins, 2007. "How reliable are the statistics for the Stability and Growth Pact?," European Economy - Economic Papers 273, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
- Roel Beetsma & Massimo Giuliodori & Peter Wierts, 2009. "Planning to cheat: EU fiscal policy in real time," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 24, pages 753-804, October.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:gmf:wpaper:2010-07. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sara Santos)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.