Do Forecasters Inform or Reassure? Evaluation of the German Real-Time Data
KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich, KOF Working Paper No. 215
29 Pages Posted: 18 Mar 2009 Last revised: 8 Jul 2009
Date Written: February 2, 2009
The paper evaluates the quality of the German national accounting data (GDP and its use-side components) as measured by the magnitude and dispersion of the forecast/revision errors. It is demonstrated that government consumption series are the least reliable, whereas real GDP and real private consumption data are the most reliable. In addition, early forecasts of GDP, private consumption, and investment growth rates are shown to be systematically upward biased. Finally, early forecasts of all the variables seem to be no more accurate than naive forecasts based on the historical mean of the final data.
Keywords: Quality of statistical data, real-time data, signal-to-noise ratio, forecasts, revisions
JEL Classification: C53, C89
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation