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How informative are central bank assessments of macroeconomic risks?


  • Knüppel, Malte
  • Schultefrankenfeld, Guido


Surveying the forecasting practice of several central banks, we find that all these banks issue statements about risks to their macroeconomic forecasts. Often the balance of these risks is assessed as well. Upward [downward] risks to the forecast commonly imply that the outturn is expected to lie above [below] the central forecast. Investigating the inflation risk forecasts of the Bank of England and the Sveriges Riksbank, however, we do not find conclusive evidence for informativeness, that is, for a systematic connection between risk assessments and forecast errors. Thus, it seems questionable whether macroeconomic risk forecasts are meaningful.

Suggested Citation

  • Knüppel, Malte & Schultefrankenfeld, Guido, 2011. "How informative are central bank assessments of macroeconomic risks?," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2011,13, Deutsche Bundesbank.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:bubdp1:201113

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Maximiano Pinheiro & Paulo Esteves, 2012. "On the uncertainty and risks of macroeconomic forecasts: combining judgements with sample and model information," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 42(3), pages 639-665, June.
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    10. David L. Reifschneider & Peter Tulip, 2007. "Gauging the uncertainty of the economic outlook from historical forecasting errors," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2007-60, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    11. Knüppel, Malte & Schultefrankenfeld, Guido, 2011. "Evaluating macroeconomic risk forecasts," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2011,14, Deutsche Bundesbank.
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    Cited by:

    1. Berg, Tim O. & Henzel, Steffen R., 2015. "Point and density forecasts for the euro area using Bayesian VARs," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 1067-1095.
    2. Schultefrankenfeld Guido, 2013. "Forecast uncertainty and the Bank of England’s interest rate decisions," Studies in Nonlinear Dynamics & Econometrics, De Gruyter, vol. 17(1), pages 1-20, February.
    3. Geoff Kenny & Thomas Kostka & Federico Masera, 2015. "Density characteristics and density forecast performance: a panel analysis," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 48(3), pages 1203-1231, May.
    4. repec:eee:intfor:v:34:y:2018:i:1:p:105-116 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Andrew Binning & Junior Maih, 2016. "Forecast uncertainty in the neighborhood of the effective lower bound: How much asymmetry should we expect?," Working Paper 2016/13, Norges Bank.
    6. G. Kenny, 2014. "Comment," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(4), pages 500-504, October.
    7. Andrade, P. & Ghysels, E. & Idier, J., 2012. "Tails of Inflation Forecasts and Tales of Monetary Policy," Working papers 407, Banque de France.
    8. David Reifschneider & Peter Tulip, 2017. "Gauging the Uncertainty of the Economic Outlook Using Historical Forecasting Errors: The Federal Reserve's Approach," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2017-01, Reserve Bank of Australia.
    9. Ohnsorge,Franziska Lieselotte & Stocker,Marc & Some,Modeste Y., 2016. "Quantifying uncertainties in global growth forecasts," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7770, The World Bank.
    10. Knüppel, Malte, 2018. "Forecast-error-based estimation of forecast uncertainty when the horizon is increased," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 105-116.
    11. Knüppel, Malte & Schultefrankenfeld, Guido, 2011. "Evaluating macroeconomic risk forecasts," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2011,14, Deutsche Bundesbank.

    More about this item


    forecast evaluation; risk forecasts; inflation forecasts;

    JEL classification:

    • E37 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • C12 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Hypothesis Testing: General
    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods


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