By Nicolas Carnot, Vincent Koen, Bruno Tissot (auth.)
Economic Forecasting offers a complete review of macroeconomic forecasting. the focal point is first on quite a lot of theories in addition to empirical equipment: company cycle research, time sequence equipment, macroeconomic types, medium and long-run projections, financial and fiscal forecasts, and sectoral forecasting.
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Retroaction: when agents can influence what is forecast, they might act on it. For example, governments and central banks can take initiatives to alter the course of macroeconomic events. Of course, some adaptation remains in order even then, since the authorities’ powers are limited. This leads to the distinction between ‘conditional’ and ‘unconditional’ forecasts. Conditional forecasts are based on specific and possibly somewhat unrealistic assumptions regarding economic agents’ behaviour. The idea is to explore their implications for the shape of the forecast, often by trying out alternative sets of hypotheses.
While investment in transportation capital goods is relatively well measured, spending on other types of equipment is often estimated indirectly (as a residual based on output and international trade data). In some cases (notably in the USA and Germany), it can be monitored through statistics on orders of durable goods. With regard to investment in buildings, data on the delivery of permits can be used, based on some assumptions as to average construction times (as for households’ residential investment).
Overview 9 the triple whammy of soaring commodity prices, bursting housing market bubbles and the 2007 financial crisis together triggered the Great Recession, the worst global downturn since the 1930s, with almost simultaneous, deep and protracted contractions in most of the world’s economies. These phases of acceleration and deceleration in activity point to the existence of economic cycles. Four different types of cycles are usually distinguished, depending on the horizon under consideration: • • • • Kondratieff cycles (or waves), which last about half a century, correspond to the transition from one set of dominant technologies to the next (for example, steam power and railways, electricity, information technology); Kuznets cycles, spanning about two decades, were mainly associated with the US construction industry before the First World War; they are derived looking at population changes, capital formation and incomes; Kitchin cycles, which are much shorter (two to four years), are primarily related to fluctuations in inventories and wholesale prices; and Juglar cycles, lasting five to ten years, are what is usually understood under the generic term ‘cycle’, when it is not further specified.