Survey of Professional Forecasters

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This article is about the survey in the United States. For the similar survey in Europe conducted by the European Central Bank, see ECB Survey of Professional Forecasters.

The Survey of Professional Forecasters (SPF) is a quarterly survey of macroeconomic forecasts for the economy of the United States issued by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. It is the oldest such survey in the United States.

The survey includes an "anxious index" that estimates the probability of a decline in real GDP.[1]

History[edit]

The survey began in 1968 and was conducted by the American Statistical Association (ASA) and the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia took over the survey in 1990.[2][3] In its early days (prior to the takeover by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia) the survey was often referred to in the academic literature as the ASA-NBER survey.[4]

In May 2008, it was announced that SPF would be adding an industry classification variable for its survey respondents, so that researchers could more easily determine how people's forecasts related to the industry they were from.[5]

Variables[edit]

The Survey of Professional Forecasters includes variables in the following broad categories:[6]

  • U.S. business indicators
  • Real GDP and its components
  • CPI and PCE inflation
  • Long-term inflation forecasts
  • Additional long-term forecasts
  • Equilibrium unemployment
  • Probability on ranges (for GDP, inflation, and unemployment measures)
  • Anxious Index
  • Implied forecasts

Reception[edit]

SPF has been used in academic research on forecast accuracy and forecast bias.[4][7][8]

A 1997 analysis of density forecasts of inflation made in the SPF finds: "The probability of a large negative inflation shock is generally overestimated, and in more recent years the probability of a large shock of either sign is overestimated. Inflation surprises are serially correlated, although agents eventually adapt. Expectations of low inflation are associated with reduced uncertainty. The results suggest several promising directions for future research."[9]

SPF keeps a record of the bias and error in its own past forecasts online.[10] Their forecasting track record and the implications of their forecasts have been discussed on business press and blogs, including Forbes and the Wall Street Journal.[11][12][13][14]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Anxious Index". Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. 
  2. ^ "Survey of Professional Forecasters". Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. Retrieved April 13, 2014. 
  3. ^ Croushure, Dean (November–December 1993). "Introducing: The Survey of Professional Forecasters". Business Review. 
  4. ^ a b "Academic Bibliography". Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. Retrieved April 13, 2014. 
  5. ^ Chew, John; Price, Calvin (May 2008). "Introducing: An Industry Classification for the Survey of Professional Forecasters". Retrieved April 13, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Historical Data Files for the Survey of Professional Forecasters". Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. August 10, 2012. Retrieved April 13, 2014. 
  7. ^ Clements, Michael (November 22, 2002). "An evaluation of the Survey of Professional Forecasters probability distributions of expected inflation and output growth.". Retrieved April 13, 2014. 
  8. ^ Manzan, Sebastiano (August 2011). "Differential Interpretation in the Survey of Professional Forecasters". Journal of Money, Credit and Banking 43 (5): 993–1017. doi:10.1111/j.1538-4616.2011.00404.x. 
  9. ^ Francis X. Diebold; Anthony S. Tay; Kenneth F. Wallis (October 1997). "Evaluating Density Forecasts of Inflation: The Survey of Professional Forecasters". National Bureau of Economic Research. Retrieved April 13, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Forecast Error Statistics for the Survey of Professional Forecasters". Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. Retrieved April 13, 2014. 
  11. ^ Conerly, Bill (September 2, 2013). "Economic Assumptions For Your 2014 Business Plan". Forbes. Retrieved April 21, 2014. 
  12. ^ Derby, Michael (August 13, 2010). "Economists in Philly Fed Survey More Pessimistic". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved April 13, 2014. 
  13. ^ Jones, Clive (February 25, 2014). "The Accuracy of Macroeconomics Forecasts – Survey of Professional Forecasters". Business Forecasting. Retrieved April 13, 2014. 
  14. ^ Kavadas, Ted (November 26, 2013). "Philadelphia Fed – 4th Quarter 2013 Survey Of Professional Forecasters". EconomicGreenfield. Retrieved April 13, 2014. 
  15. ^ "Philadelphia Fed's Greenbook Data Set". Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. Retrieved April 18, 2014. 

External links[edit]