The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Imposing cointegration on a forecasting system, if cointegration is present, is believed to improve long-horizon forecasts. Contrary to this belief, at long horizons nothing is lost by ignoring cointegration when the forecasts are evaluated using standard multivariate forecast accuracy measures. In fact, simple univariate Box-Jenkins forecasts are just as accurate. Our results highlight a potentially important deficiency of standard forecast accuracy measures—they fail to value the maintenance of cointegrating relationships among variables—and we suggest alternatives that explicitly do so.