IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Practice and Prospects of Medium-term Economic Forecasting

  • Torsten Schmidt


  • Helmut Hofer
  • Klaus Weyerstrass

Government agencies and other national and international institutions are asked to perform forecasts over the medium term. In particular, the EU Stability and Growth Pact contains the obligation to formulate stability programmes over four years, covering a general economic outlook as well as the projected development of public fi nances. However, the current practice of performing medium-term economic projections is unsatisfactory from a methodological point of view as the applied methodology has been developed for short-run forecasting and it is questionable whether these methods are useful for the medium term. In particular, currently medium-term projections are mostly based on the neoclassical Solow growth model with an aggregate production function with labour, capital, and exogenous technological progress. It might be argued, however, that for medium-run projections endogenous growth models might be better suited. In this paper we give an overview of currently used methods for medium-term macroeconomic projections. Then we analyse the performance of medium-term forecasts for Austria to illustrate the strengths and weaknesses of the typical approach. In particular, the fi ve-year projections of real GDP growth, infl ation and the unemployment rate are investigated. Finally, we describe some approaches to improve medium-run projections.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen in its series Ruhr Economic Papers with number 0177.

in new window

Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rwi:repape:0177
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Hohenzollernstraße 1-3, 45128 Essen

Phone: (0201)8149-0
Fax: (0201)8149-200
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Diego Comin, 2009. "On the integration of growth and business cycles," Empirica, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 165-176, May.
  2. Thomas Lindh, 2004. "Medium-term forecasts of potential GDP and inflation using age structure information," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(1), pages 19-49.
  3. Oliver J. Blanchard, 1997. "The Medium Run," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(2), pages 89-158.
  4. Richard Dennis, 2006. "The frequency of price adjustment and New Keynesian business cycle dynamics," Working Paper Series 2006-22, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  5. McAdam, Peter & Willman, Alpo, 2013. "Medium Run Redux," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(04), pages 695-727, June.
  6. Stadler, George W, 1990. "Business Cycle Models with Endogenous Technology," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(4), pages 763-78, September.
  7. Francis X. Diebold & Lutz Kilian, 1997. "Measuring predictability: theory and macroeconomic applications," Working Papers 97-23, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  8. Juan Zalduendo & Catia Batista, 2004. "Can the IMF's Medium-Term Growth Projections Be Improved?," IMF Working Papers 04/203, International Monetary Fund.
  9. Kappler, Marcus, 2007. "Projecting the Medium-Term: Outcomes and Errors for GDP Growth," ZEW Discussion Papers 07-068, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  10. Cécile Denis & Daniel Grenouilleau & Kieran Mc Morrow & Werner Röger, 2006. "Calculating potential growth rates and output gaps - A revised production function approach," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 247, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  11. Smets, Frank, 2003. "Maintaining price stability: how long is the medium term?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(6), pages 1293-1309, September.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rwi:repape:0177. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sabine Weiler)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.