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.
Laurence Ball, João Tovar Jalles, and Prakash Loungani
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
This paper provides an assessment of the consistency of unemployment and output forecasts. We show that, consistent with Okun's Law, forecasts of real GDP growth and the change in unemployment are negatively correlated. The Okun coefficient-the responsiveness of unemployment to growth-from forecasts is fairly similar to that in the data for various countries. Furthermore, revisions to unemployment forecasts are negatively correlated with revisions to real GDP forecasts. These results are based on forecasts taken from Consensus Economics for nine advanced countries since 1989.