Comparing Government Forecasts of the United States’ Gross Federal Debt
This paper compares annual one-step-ahead forecasts from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) of the United States‟ gross federal debt from 1984 to 2010. While comparisons of these agencies‟ forecasts have been done before, they have not focused on the debt. The paper finds that both agencies do a good job forecasting the debt except during recessions. Each agency‟s forecast lacks something that the other accounts for and an average of both out performs either individually. However, the Analysis of the President‟s Budget (APB), which includes information from both agencies, performs best.
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