February 11, 2009

Accuracy of short-term forecasts 1971-2007

This report analyses the accuracy of short-term economic forecasts by the CPB. The years 1971-2007 are taken into account. The goals of this study are twofold.

First of all, knowledge of the quality of CPB predictions and of sources of prediction errors may help to improve future forecasts. Secondly, we like to illustrate the uncertainties which necessarily surround economic projections.

A number of economic variables are being analyzed, but the main focus is on GDP growth. This enables us to compare CPB forecasts to those performed by other institutions, both national and international ones.

Since all forecasters make sizeable prediction errors, an important lesson from this study is that making accurate forecasts is a difficult task. Nevertheless, this also indicates that there is room for improvement.

An extensive summary in English is attached, just like the data used in this Document.

This publication is in Dutch.


Jasper de Jong
Johan Verbruggen

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