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Systematic errors in growth expectations over the business cycle

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  • Dovern, Jonas
  • Jannsen, Nils

Abstract

Using real-time data, we analyze how the systematic expectation errors of professional forecasters in 19 advanced economies depend on the state of the business cycle. Our results indicate that the general result that forecasters systematically overestimate output growth (across all countries) masks considerable differences across different business-cycle states. We show that forecasts for recessions are subject to a large negative systematic forecast error (forecasters overestimate growth), while forecasts for recoveries are subject to a positive systematic forecast error. Forecasts made for expansions have, if anything, a small systematic forecast error for large forecast horizons. When we link information about the business-cycle state in the target year with quarterly information about its state in the forecasting period, we find that forecasters realize business-cycle turning points somewhat late. Using cross-country evidence, we demonstrate that the positive relationship between a change in trend growth rates and forecast bias, as suggested in the literature, breaks down when only focusing on forecasts made for expansions.

Suggested Citation

  • Dovern, Jonas & Jannsen, Nils, 2015. "Systematic errors in growth expectations over the business cycle," Kiel Working Papers 1989, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwkwp:1989
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    Cited by:

    1. Constantin Burgi, 2016. "What Do We Lose When We Average Expectations?," Working Papers 2016-013, The George Washington University, Department of Economics, Research Program on Forecasting.
    2. Joscha Beckmann & Robert Czudaj, 2018. "Monetary policy shocks, expectations and information rigidities," Chemnitz Economic Papers 019, Department of Economics, Chemnitz University of Technology.
    3. Sergey V. Smirnov & Daria A. Avdeeva, 2016. "Wishful Bias in Predicting Us Recessions: Indirect Evidence," HSE Working papers WP BRP 135/EC/2016, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    4. Ha Quyen Ngo & Niklas Potrafke & Marina Riem & Christoph Schinke, 2018. "Ideology and Dissent among Economists: The Joint Economic Forecast of German Economic Research Institutes," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan;Eastern Economic Association, vol. 44(1), pages 135-152, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    macroeconomic expectations; forecasting; forecast bias; survey data;

    JEL classification:

    • C5 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling
    • E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment
    • E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles

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