“Growth is devilishly hard to predict”

Kevin Drum–a political blogger for Mother Jones–asks: “But I wonder who did better at predicting recessions? Goldman Sachs? The CIA? A hedge fund rocket scientist in Connecticut? Whoever it is, it sounds like the IMF might want to look them up.”

But as Drum noted in the Economist article, “Despite forecasters’ best efforts, growth is devilishly hard to predict”.

Last year, in September, my presentation at the Federal Forecasters Conference summarized my work on the inability or unwillingness of forecasters to predict recessions. I suggested that to get forecasters to predict recessions (even inaccurately) we should have a Stekler Award for Courage in Forecasting. The award would be in honor of noted forecaster Herman Stekler who says that forecasters should predict recessions early and often and that he himself has predicted 9 of the last 5 recessions.

For my recent work on forecast accuracy see the following:

  • September 2015: Fail Again? Fail Better? On the Inability to Forecast Recessions
  • April 2014: “There will be growth in the spring”: How well do economists predict turning points?

Posted by at 9:35 PM

Labels: Economic Forecast


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