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The Superiority of Greenbook Forecasts and the Role of Recessions


  • Kishor N. Kundan

    (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)


In this paper, we investigate the role of recessions on the relative forecasting performance of the Fed and the private sector. Romer and Romer (2000) showed that the Fed's forecasts of inflation and output were superior to that of the private sector in the pre-1991 period. D'Agostino and Whelan (2008) found that the information superiority of the Fed deteriorated after 1991. Our results show that the information superiority of the Fed in forecasting real activity did arise from its forecasting dominance during recessions. If recessions are excluded from the pre-1992 period, the informational advantage of the Fed disappears, and in some cases, private sector forecasts perform better. We do not find any systematic effect of recessions on inflation forecasts.

Suggested Citation

  • Kishor N. Kundan, 2010. "The Superiority of Greenbook Forecasts and the Role of Recessions," NBP Working Papers 74, Narodowy Bank Polski, Economic Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbp:nbpmis:74 Note: The paper was presented at the National Bank of Poland’s conference „Publishing central banks forecast in theory and practice” held on 5–6 November 2009 in Warsaw.

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Faust Jon & Swanson Eric T & Wright Jonathan H, 2004. "Do Federal Reserve Policy Surprises Reveal Superior Information about the Economy?," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-31, October.
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    5. Antonello D'Agostino & Karl Whelan, 2008. "Federal Reserve Information During the Great Moderation," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 609-620, 04-05.
    6. Margaret M. McConnell & Gabriel Perez-Quiros, 2000. "Output fluctuations in the United States: what has changed since the early 1980s?," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
    7. Jon Faust & Jonathan H. Wright, 2007. "Comparing Greenbook and Reduced Form Forecasts using a Large Realtime Dataset," NBER Working Papers 13397, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Faust, Jon & Wright, Jonathan H., 2009. "Comparing Greenbook and Reduced Form Forecasts Using a Large Realtime Dataset," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 27(4), pages 468-479.
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    13. Baghestani, Hamid, 2006. "Federal reserve vs. private forecasts of real net exports," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 91(3), pages 349-353, June.
    14. Chang-Jin Kim & Charles R. Nelson, 1999. "Has The U.S. Economy Become More Stable? A Bayesian Approach Based On A Markov-Switching Model Of The Business Cycle," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 608-616, November.
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    Blog mentions

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    1. What can you do with a DSGE model?
      by Noah Smith in Noahpinion on 2013-05-28 01:05:00

    More about this item


    Greenbook Forecasts; Recessions; Business Cycle Turning Points;

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E37 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications

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