Why Mainstream Economic Forecasts Are So Often Wrong
Every end of the year, by the end of the year, we receive numerous estimates of global GDP growth and inflation for the following year. Historically, almost in all cases, expectations of inflation and growth are too optimistic in December for the following year.
If we look at the track record of central banks, it is particularly poor in predicting inflation, while large supranational entities tend to err on the side of optimism in GDP estimates. The international Monetary Fund or the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, for example, have been particularly poor at estimating recessions, but mostly accurate at making long-term trend estimates. Contrary to popular belief, it seems that most forecasts are better at identifying long-term economic dynamics than short-term ones.
Forecasting is a dirty job, but somebody has to do it. Economic forecasting is exceedingly difficult because there are numerous factors that can drastically change the course of a global economy that is increasingly complex and subject to important uncertainties. However, macroeconomic forecasting is also essential to provide a frame of reference for investors and policymakers. It should not be considered the revealed truth nor entirely dismissed, just an important framework that allows us to at least identify the major points of discrepancy as well as the areas to look at for positive or negative surprises as the year unravels. Yes, macroeconomic forecasting is essential.
The first lesson is that independent forecasts are almost every year more accurate than those of supranational bodies and central banks. There is a logic behind it. Independent forecasters do not feel the political pressure to use a benign view of government policies in their estimates. This is one of the main reasons why investors increasingly use their own economic forecasting teams alongside truly independen
Article from Mises Wire