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Principal Investigator(s): Gavin, William T., Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; Pande, Geetanjali, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
In November 2007, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) announced a change in the way it communicates its view of the economic outlook: It increased the frequency of its forecasts from two to four times per year, and it increased the length of the forecasting horizon from two to three years. The FOMC does not release the individual members' forecasts or standard measures of consensus such as the mean or median. Rather, it continues to release the forecast information as a range of forecasts, both the full range between the high and the low and a central tendency that omits the extreme values. This paper uses individual forecaster data from the Survey of Professional Forecasters (SPF) to mimic the FOMC's method for creating their central tendency. The authors show that the midpoint of the central tendency of the SPF is a reliable measure of the consensus, suggesting that the FOMC reporting method is also a reliable measure of consensus. For the dates when both are available, the authors also compare the relative forecast accuracy of the FOMC and SPF consensus forecasts for output growth and inflation. Overall, the differences in forecast accuracy are too small to be statistically significant.
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Gavin, William T., and Geetanjali Pande. Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) Consensus Forecasts. ICPSR22683-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2008-06-10. doi:10.3886/ICPSR22683.v1
Persistent URL: http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR22683.v1
This study was funded by:
- Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Research Division
Scope of Study
Subject Terms: business cycles, consumption, economic conditions, economic forecasting, economic growth, economic history, economic indicators, economic policy, expenditures, Gross Domestic Product, inflation, policy making, price indexes
Geographic Coverage: United States
Data Collection Notes:
(1) The data are distributed as a Microsoft Excel file, which contains the data and tables used in the publication. (2) These data are part of ICPSR's Publication-Related Archive and are distributed exactly as they arrived from the data depositor. ICPSR has not checked or processed this material. Users should consult the investigators if further information is desired.
Original ICPSR Release: 2008-06-10
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