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Sunday, November 23, 2014

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Forecast Error Statistics for the Survey of Professional Forecasters

The following PDF and text files contain the latest statistics on the accuracy of the projections for most variables in the survey. For an article summarizing the results through the survey of 2010 Q2, see Realistic Evaluation of Real-Time Forecasts in the Survey of Professional Forecasters. PDF

The files listed below as "data" contain the observations (projections and realizations) that we use to construct the error statistics. The observations for projections are dated at the date forecast, not the date when the forecasts were made. The projections are for the SPF (denoted SPFfor) and the benchmark models, as described in the narrative of the files of error statistics (Indirect Autoregressive: denoted IARfor; No-Change: denoted NCfor; Direct Autoregressive: denoted DARfor; and Direct Autoregressive with Monthly Information: denoted DARMfor). Each column of the projections corresponds to a different forecast horizon, starting with the one-step-ahead projections (denoted _Step1) and ending with the five-step-ahead horizon (denoted _Step5). The realizations are denoted Realiz1, Realiz2,...,Realiz5. They are described (along with any data transformations) in the corresponding narrative section of the PDF and TXT files. To compute a forecast error, subtract a forecast at the horizon of your choice from your choice of the realization located in the same row.

Click on the preferred file format from the table below.

Error Statistics for Projections for U.S. Business Indicators
Data Variable
File Format
Nominal Gross National Product/Gross Domestic Product (NGDP)
Price Index for Gross National Product/Gross Domestic Product (PGDP)
Civilian Unemployment Rate (UNEMP)
Nonfarm Payroll Employment (EMP)
Industrial Production Index (INDPROD)
Housing Starts (HOUSING)
3-Month Treasury Bill Rate (TBILL)
AAA Corporate Bond Yield (BOND)
10-Year Treasury Bond Rate (TBOND)
Error Statistics for Projections for Real GDP and Its Components
Data Variable
File Format
Real Gross National Product/Gross Domestic Product (RGDP)
Real Personal Consumption Expenditures (RCONSUM)
Real Nonresidential Fixed Investment (RNRESIN)
Real Residential Fixed Investment (RRESINV)
Real Federal Government Consumption Expenditures & Gross Investment (RFEDGOV)
Real State and Local Government Consumption Expenditures & Gross Investment (RSLGOV)
Error Statistics for Projections for CPI
Data Variable
File Format
CPI Inflation Rate (CPI)

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  • Last update: September 3, 2014