Top Economic Forecaster Awards Methodology

Awards Methodology

Methodology

The FocusEconomics Analyst Forecast Awards  are yearly awards that recognize the most accurate economic forecasters for the six key macroeconomic indicators (GDP, Fiscal Balance, Inflation, Interest Rate, Exchange Rate and Current Account) in 91countries and for 23 commodities.

We assess the accuracy of the forecasts submitted to our Consensus Forecast survey by ranking forecasters according to the average of their forecast errors. Errors are defined as the absolute difference between an individual forecast and the actual result of the macroeconomic indicator/price of the commodity.

To identify the best forecasters, we analyze forecasts submitted to our monthly survey over the course of 22 months. For example, in assessing the forecast accuracy for 2020 GDP, we take into consideration forecasts collected between January 2019 and October 2020. The outturns we use as a comparison to the forecasts correspond to the first official estimates, the release of which varies according to the frequency of the indicator.

The absolute error (absolute difference between the individual forecast and the outturn of the price is not discounted. Therefore, an error at the beginning of our forecasting cycle (January 2019) has the same weight as an error at the end of the cycle (October 2020).

Finally, panelists are ranked according to the average of the absolute errors over the last 22 months: The highest ranked analyst is the one with the lowest average error. In case of equal scores panelists will be ranked based on the number of submissions.

To be considered for the award, the panelist must have submitted a minimum number of forecasts over the given period.

We calculate forecast accuracy rankings for six main macroeconomic indicators (GDP, Fiscal Balance, Inflation, Interest Rate, Exchange Rate and Current Account) in 91 countries. In addition to giving awards for each specific macroeconomic indicator mentioned above, we also provide a general ranking of the forecasts for the country, which is estimated by calculating weighted average ranking across all the indicators, with GDP and inflation assigned slightly greater weight than the remaining indicators.

Note on the methodology for commodities

To identify the best forecasters of commodity prices, we use price forecasts submitted to our monthly survey for 23 commodities over the course of 22 months compared to the resulting average-of-year commodity price.

The absolute error (absolute difference between the individual forecast and the outturn of the price) is not discounted. Therefore, an error at the beginning of our forecasting cycle (January 2019) has the same weight as an error at the end of the cycle (October 2020).

Finally, panelists are ranked according to the average of the absolute errors over the last 22 months: The highest ranked analyst is the one with the lowest average error. In case of equal scores panelists will be ranked based on the number of submissions.

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