Constructing Fan Charts from the Ragged Edge of SPF Forecasts
We develop a model that permits the estimation of a term structure of both expectations and forecast uncertainty for application to professional forecasts such as the Survey of Professional Forecasters (SPF). Our approach exactly replicates a given data set of predictions from the SPF (or a similar forecast source) without measurement error. Our model captures fixed horizon and fixed-event forecasts, and can accommodate changes in the maximal forecast horizon available from the SPF. The model casts a decomposition of multi-period forecast errors into a sequence of forecast updates that may be partially unobserved, resulting in a multivariate unobserved components model. In our empirical analysis, we provide quarterly term structures of expectations and uncertainty bands. Our preferred specification features stochastic volatility in forecast updates, which improves forecast performance and yields model estimates of forecast uncertainty that vary over time. We conclude by constructing SPF-based fan charts for calendar-year forecasts like those published by the Federal Reserve.
Replication files are available at https://github.com/elmarmertens/ClarkGanicsMertensSPFfancharts
Clark, Todd E., Gergely Ganics, and Elmar Mertens. 2022. “Constructing Fan Charts from the Ragged Edge of SPF Forecasts” Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Working Paper No. 22-36. https://doi.org/10.26509/frbc-wp-202236