The Analysis of Conditional Forecasts


Econometrics Seminar
University of Pennsylvania

3718 Locust Walk
410 McNeil

Philadelphia, PA

United States

Joint with: Jonathan Faust, John Hopkins

Central Banks regularly make forecasts, such as the Fed's Greenbook forecast, that are conditioned on hypothetical paths for the policy interest rate. While there are good public policy reasons to evaluate the quality of such forecasts, up until now,the most common approach has been to ignore their conditional nature and apply standard forecast efficiency tests. In this paper we derive tests for the efficiency of conditional forecasts. Intuitively, these tests involve implicit estimates of the degree to which the conditioning path is counterfactual and the magnitude of the policy feedback over the forecast horizon. We apply the tests to the Greenbook forecast and the Bank of England's inflation report forecast, finding some evidence of forecast inefficiency.

For more information, contact Vee Roberson.

Jonathan Wright

Federal Reserve Board

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