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Rounding behaviour of professional macro-forecasters

Michael Clements

International Journal of Forecasting, 2021, vol. 37, issue 4, 1614-1631

Abstract: The rounding of point forecasts of CPI inflation and the unemployment rate by U.S. Professional Forecasters is modest. There is little evidence that forecasts are rounded to a greater extent in response to higher perceived uncertainty surrounding future outcomes. There is clear evidence that the probability of decline forecasts are rounded: over half of the forecast probabilities of decline in the current quarter are multiples of ten. It is found here that the rounding of these probabilities correlates with worse accuracy, although it is also of note here that worse (less accurate) forecasters might round more as opposed to the degree of rounding per se worsening accuracy. By simulating the loss from rounding for a set of efficient forecasters, it is demonstrated that the explanation that respondents round otherwise efficient forecasts is implausible, and that the contribution of rounding is of minor importance.

Keywords: Rounding; Survey expectations; Uncertainty; Forecast accuracy; Histograms (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.ijforecast.2021.03.003

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Handle: RePEc:eee:intfor:v:37:y:2021:i:4:p:1614-1631