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Do forecasters inform or reassure? Evaluation of the German real-time data

The paper evaluates the quality of the German national accounting data (GDP and its use-side components) as measured by the magnitude and dispersion of the forecast/ revision errors. It is demonstrated that government consumption series are the least reliable, whereas real GDP and real private consumption data are the most reliable. In addition, early forecasts of GDP, private consumption, and investment growth rates are shown to be systematically upward biased. Finally, early forecasts of all the variables seem to be no more accurate than naïve forecasts based on the historical mean of the final data.

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File URL: http://www.kof.ethz.ch/publications/science/pdf/wp_215.pdf
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Paper provided by KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich in its series KOF Working papers with number 09-215.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kof:wpskof:09-215
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  1. Ashiya, Masahiro, 2007. "Forecast accuracy of the Japanese government: Its year-ahead GDP forecast is too optimistic," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 68-85, January.
  2. Knetsch, Thomas A. & Reimers, Hans-Eggert, 2006. "How to treat benchmark revisions? The case of German production and orders statistics," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2006,38, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  3. 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.
  4. de Gooijer, Jan G. & Klein, Andre, 1992. "On the cumulated multi-step-ahead predictions of vector autoregressive moving average processes," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 501-513, March.
  5. Kajal Lahiri & Xuguang Sheng, 2009. "Learning and Heterogeneity in GDP and Inflation Forecasts," Discussion Papers 09-05, University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics.
  6. Faust, Jon & Rogers, John H & Wright, Jonathan H, 2005. "News and Noise in G-7 GDP Announcements," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 37(3), pages 403-19, June.
  7. Graham Elliott & Allan Timmermann & Ivana Komunjer, 2005. "Estimation and Testing of Forecast Rationality under Flexible Loss," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(4), pages 1107-1125.
  8. Francis X. Diebold & Lutz Kilian, 1998. "Measuring Predictability: Theory and Macroeconomic Applications," Working Papers 98-16, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  9. Batchelor, Roy, 2007. "Bias in macroeconomic forecasts," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 189-203.
  10. McNees, Stephen K., 1989. "Forecasts and actuals: The trade-off between timeliness and accuracy," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 409-416.
  11. N. Gregory Mankiw & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1986. "News or Noise? An Analysis of GNP Revisions," NBER Working Papers 1939, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Kajal Lahiri & Gultekin Isiklar, 2006. "How Far Ahead Can We Forecast? Evidence From Cross-country Surveys," Discussion Papers 06-04, University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics.
  13. Jan Jacobs & Jan-Egbert Sturm, 2004. "Do Ifo Indicators Help Explain Revisions in German Industrial Production?," CESifo Working Paper Series 1205, CESifo Group Munich.
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