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International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

A forecast is any statement about the future. Such statements may be well founded, or lack any sound basis; they may be accurate or inaccurate on any given occasion, or on average; precise or imprecise; and model-based or informal.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

12. The evaluation covers macroeconomic forecasts produced by IMF staff in the context of Article IV consultations, WEO forecast rounds, and IMF-supported programs. It describes and assesses how these forecasts are generated by country desk economists and aggregated and checked for consistency at the IMF-wide level. It reports results of an opinion survey about the perceived value of IMF forecasts to users among country officials and in the private sector, and assesses the quality of the forecasts. The assessment of quality focuses mainly on forecasts of GDP growth, as this is the most important variable according to a survey of country authorities and subsequent follow-up interviews.6 Concentrating on GDP, as a key variable underlying the forecasts of both fiscal and current account balances, also helps the report effectively achieve a broad coverage without becoming excessively taxonomic and lengthy.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

When the data [are] very noisy [the only way to assess the skill of a forecaster] is to focus more on process than on results.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.