European Central Bank - eurosystem
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Tuomas Rautanen

5 April 2007
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 59
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Abstract
Eight years have passed since the European Central Bank (ECB) launched its Survey of Professional Forecasters (SPF). The SPF asks a panel of approximately 75 forecasters located in the European Union (EU) for their short- to longer-term expectations for macroeconomic variables such as euro area inflation, growth and unemployment. This paper provides an initial assessment of the information content of this survey. First, we consider shorter-term (i.e., one- and two-year ahead rolling horizon) forecasts. The analysis suggests that, over the sample period, in common with other private and institutional forecasters, the SPF systematically under-forecast inflation but that there is less evidence of such systematic errors for GDP and unemployment forecasts. However, these findings, which generally hold regardless of whether one considers the aggregate SPF panel or individual responses, should be interpreted with caution given the relatively short sample period available for the analysis. Second, we consider SPF respondents
JEL Code
C83 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology, Computer Programs→Survey Methods, Sampling Methods
E37 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
E50 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→General