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How Accurate Are Private Sector Forecasts; Cross-Country Evidence From Consensus Forecasts of Output Growth

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  • Prakash Loungani

Abstract

This paper evaluates the performance of Consensus Forecasts of GDP growth for industrialized and developing countries from 1989 to 1998. The questions addressed are (1) How do forecast errors differ across industrialized and developing countries? (2) How well do forecasters predict recessions? (3) Are forecasts efficient and unbiased? (4) How does private sector performance compare with that of international organizations? (5) Is forecaster discord a reliable predictor of forecast accuracy? Two key results emerge. First, the record of failure to predict recessions is virtually unblemished. Second, there is high degree of similarity between private forecasts and those of international organizations.

Suggested Citation

  • Prakash Loungani, 2000. "How Accurate Are Private Sector Forecasts; Cross-Country Evidence From Consensus Forecasts of Output Growth," IMF Working Papers 00/77, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:00/77
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Fintzen, David & Stekler, H. O., 1999. "Why did forecasters fail to predict the 1990 recession?," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 309-323, July.
    2. Oller, Lars-Erik & Barot, Bharat, 2000. "The accuracy of European growth and inflation forecasts," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 293-315.
    3. Davies, Anthony & Lahiri, Kajal, 1995. "A new framework for analyzing survey forecasts using three-dimensional panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 205-227, July.
    4. Keane, Michael P & Runkle, David E, 1990. "Testing the Rationality of Price Forecasts: New Evidence from Panel Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(4), pages 714-735, September.
    5. Gallo, Giampiero M. & Granger, Clive W.J. & Jeon, Yongil, 1999. "The Impact of the Use of Forecasts in Information Sets," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt1w33d4b2, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
    6. Holden, K & Peel, D A, 1990. "On Testing for Unbiasedness and Efficiency of Forecasts," The Manchester School of Economic & Social Studies, University of Manchester, vol. 58(2), pages 120-127, June.
    7. Victor Zarnowitz, 1991. "Has Macro-Forecasting Failed?," NBER Working Papers 3867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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