CBO’s Economic Forecasting Record: 2019 Update

From Congressional Budget Office:

“CBO’s economic forecasts have been comparable in quality to those of the Administration and the Blue Chip consensus. Large errors in CBO’s forecasts tend to reflect challenges faced by all forecasters.


Each year, CBO prepares economic forecasts that underlie its projections of the federal budget. CBO forecasts hundreds of economic variables, but some—including output growth, the unemployment rate, inflation, interest rates, and wages and salaries—play a particularly significant role in the agency’s budget projections. To evaluate the quality of its economic projections, estimate uncertainty ranges, and isolate the effect of economic errors on budgetary projections, CBO regularly analyzes its historical forecast errors. That analysis serves as a tool for assessing the usefulness of the agency’s projections.

In this report, CBO evaluates its two-year and five-year economic forecasts from as early as 1976 and compares them with analogous forecasts from the Administration and the Blue Chip consensus—an average of about 50 private-sector forecasts published in Blue Chip Economic Indicators. External comparisons help identify areas in which the agency has tended to make larger errors than other analysts. They also indicate the extent to which imperfect information may have caused all forecasters to miss patterns or turning points in the economy.”

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Posted by at 11:15 AM

Labels: Forecasting Forum


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