After floods and pandemics: How to obtain a meaningful forecast


By Elena Bobeica, Gabriel Pérez-Quirós, Gerhard Rünstler, Georg Strasserposted on 31 October 2021 

The recent decade has shown that forecasters need to continuously adapt their tools to cope with increasing macroeconomic complexity. Just like the global crisis, the current Covid-19 pandemic highlights once again that forecasters cannot be content with just assessing the single most likely future outcome – such as a single number for future GDP growth in a certain year. Instead, a characterisation of all possible outcomes (i.e. the entire distribution) is necessary to understand the likelihood and nature of extreme events.

This is key for central bank forecasters as well, as pointed out by ECB Executive Board member Philip Lane in his opening remarks at the 11th Conference on Forecasting Techniques. Central banks rely heavily on forecasts to design their policy and need robust techniques to navigate through turbulent times. They not only ensure price stability and are thus directly interested in the most likely future inflation path, but in the process also contribute to the understanding, managing, and handling of macro-economic risks and thus need to grasp the likelihood of extreme events (see also the discussion in Greenspan 2004).”

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Labels: Forecasting Forum


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