Conditional Macroeconomic Forecasts: Disagreement, Revisions and Forecast Errors
IWH Discussion Papers,
Using data from the European Central Bank‘s Survey of Professional Forecasters, we analyse the role of ex-ante conditioning variables for macroeconomic forecasts. In particular, we test to which extent the heterogeneity, updating and ex-post performance of predictions for inflation, real GDP growth and the unemployment rate are related to assumptions about future oil prices, exchange rates, interest rates and wage growth. Our findings indicate that inflation forecasts are closely associated with oil price expectations, whereas expected interest rates are used primarily to predict output growth and unemployment. Expectations about exchange rates and wage growth also matter for macroeconomic forecasts, albeit less so than oil prices and interest rates. We show that survey participants can considerably improve forecast accuracy for macroeconomic outcomes by reducing prediction errors for external conditions. Our results contribute to a better understanding of the expectation formation process of experts.
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Asymmetric Investment Responses to Firm-specific Forecast Errors
IWH Discussion Papers,
This paper analyses how firm-specific forecast errors derived from survey data of German manufacturing firms over 2007–2011 affect firms’ investment propensity. Understanding how forecast errors affect firm investment behaviour is key to mitigate economic downturns during and after crisis periods in which forecast errors tend to increase. Our findings reveal a negative impact of absolute forecast errors on investment. Strikingly, asymmetries arise depending on the size and direction of the forecast error. The investment propensity declines if the realised situation is worse than expected. However, firms do not adjust investment if the realised situation is better than expected suggesting that the uncertainty component of the forecast error counteracts positive effects of unexpectedly favorable business conditions. Given that the fraction of firms making positive forecast errors is higher after the peak of the recent financial crisis, this mechanism can be one explanation behind staggered economic growth and slow recovery following crises.
11.04.2017 • 18/2017
Pionierkunde Staat: Wie die öffentliche Nachfrage private Innovationen antreiben kann
Gerade in technologieintensiven Branchen kann der Staat durch seine Nachfrage den privaten Markt erweitern – und Anreize für privatwirtschaftliche Forschung und Entwicklung setzen, erklärt Viktor Slavtchev vom Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung Halle (IWH).
Agglomeration and FDI in East German Knowledge-intensive Business Services
The focus of this article is the empirical identification of factors influencing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the knowledge-intensive business service (KIBS) sector on the regional level of «Raumordnungsregionen» in East Germany. The analysis focuses on the impact of regional agglomeration and technological capability on the location decision of foreign investors and West German MNEs. It shows that localisation, patent activity and the share of employees with an R&D occupation affect significantly the location decision of FDI. This result provides an explanation for the strong concentration of KIBS in urban areas in a post-transition economy.