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ECB Projections: should leave it to the pros?

Forecasts are an inherent part of economic science and the quest for perfect foresight occupies economists and researchers in multiple fields. The release of economic forecasts (and its revisions) is a popular and often publicized event, with a multitude of institutions and think-tanks devoted almost exclusively to that task. The European Central Bank (ECB) also publishes its forecasts for the euro area, however ECB’s forecast accuracy is not a deeply researched theme. The ECB forecasts’ accuracy is the main point developed in this paper, which tries to contribute to understand the nature of the errors committed by the ECB forecasts and its main differences compared to other projections. What we try to infer is whether the ECB is accurate in its projections, making less errors than the others, maybe due to some informational advantage. We conclude that the ECB seems to consistently underestimate the HICP inflation rate and overestimate GDP growth. Comparing it with the others, the ECB shows a superior performance, committing almost always fewer errors. So, this signals a possible informational advantage from the ECB. Since the forecasting errors could jeopardize ECB’s credibility public criticism could be avoided if the ECB simply let forecasts for the others. Naturally, this change should be weighted against the benefits of publishing forecasts.

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Paper provided by Universidade Portucalense, Centro de Investigação em Gestão e Economia (CIGE) in its series Working Papers with number 11/2010.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: 08 Feb 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ris:cigewp:2010_011
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Universidade Portucalense – Economics and Management Department (CIGE – Centro de Investigação em Gestão e Economia), Rua Dr. António Bernardino de Almeida, 541-619, 4200 – 072 Porto, Portugal

Web page: http://www.uportu.pt/site-scripts/centro_pagina.asp?codmenu=71&codcentro=24

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