Macroeconomic forecasters are often criticized for a lack of transparency when presenting their forecasts. To deter such criticism, the transparency of the forecasting process should be enhanced by tracing and explaining the effects of data revisions and expert judgment updates on variations in the forecasts. This paper presents a forecast decomposition analysis framework designed to examine the differences between two forecasts generated by a linear structural model. The differences between the forecasts considered can be decomposed into the contributions of various forecast elements, such as the effect of new data or expert judgment. The framework allows us to evaluate the contributions of forecast assumptions in the presence of expert judgment applied in the expected way. The simplest application of this framework examines alternative forecast scenarios with different forecast assumptions. Next, a one-period difference between the forecasts’ initial periods is added to the examination. Finally, a replication of the Inflation Forecast Evaluation presented in Inflation Report III/2013 is created to illustrate the full capabilities of the decomposition framework.
JEL codes: C53, E01, E47
Keywords: Data revisions, DSGE models, forecasting, forecast revisions
Issued: August 2014