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Oil prices assumptions in macroeconomic forecasts: should we follow futures market expectations?

  • Carlos Coimbra
  • Paulo Soares Esteves

In macroeconomic forecasting, in spite of its important role in prices and activity developments, oil prices are usually taken as an exogenous variable for which assumptions have to be made. This paper evaluates the forecasting performance of futures markets prices against other popular technical procedure, the carry-over assumption. The results suggest that it is almost indifferent to opt for the futures market prices or the carry over assumption for short-term forecasting horizons (up to 12 months), while, for longer-term horizons, they favour the use of futures market prices. However, as futures markets prices reflect the markets expectations for the world economic activity, futures oil prices should be adjusted whenever the market expectations for the world economic growth are different from the values underlying the macroeconomic scenarios in order to assure fully internal consistency of those scenarios.

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Paper provided by Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department in its series Working Papers with number w200404.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:ptu:wpaper:w200404
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  1. Paul Cashin & C John McDermott & Alasdair Scott, 1999. "Booms and slumps in world commodity prices," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series G99/8, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
  2. Paul Cashin & Hong Liang & C. John McDermott, 2000. "How Persistent Are Shocks to World Commodity Prices?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 47(2), pages 2.
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