How Accurate are Private Sector Forecasts? Cross-Country Evidence from Consensus Forecasts of Output Growth

33 Pages Posted: 26 Jun 2000

See all articles by Prakash Loungani

Prakash Loungani

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Date Written: December 2002

Abstract

This paper evaluates the performance of Consensus Forecasts of GDP growth for industrialized and developing countries from 1989 to 1998. The questions addressed are (1) How do forecast errors differ across industrialized and developing countries? (2) How well do forecasters predict recessions? (3) Are forecasts efficient and unbiased? (4) How does private sector performance compare with that of international organizations? (5) Is forecaster discord a reliable predictor of forecast accuracy? Two key results emerge. First, the record of failure to predict recessions is virtually unblemished. Second, there is high degree of similarity between private forecasts and those of international organizations.

JEL Classification: C5, E3, D8, G2, L2

Suggested Citation

Loungani, Prakash, How Accurate are Private Sector Forecasts? Cross-Country Evidence from Consensus Forecasts of Output Growth (December 2002). IMF Working Paper No. 00/77. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=227868 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.227868

Prakash Loungani (Contact Author)

International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )

700 19th Street NW
Washington, DC 20431
United States
202-623-7043 (Phone)
202-623-4740 (Fax)

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