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May/June 2001, 
Vol. 83, No. 3
Posted 2001-05-01

Forecasting Inflation and Growth: Do Private Forecasts Match Those of Policymakers?

by William T. Gavin and Rachel J. Mandal

Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) projections are important because they provide information for evaluating current monetary policy intentions and because they indicate what FOMC members think will be the likely consequences of their policies. Knowing the Fed’s objectives, its forecasts, and recent deviations of the economy from the forecasts should be sufficient to understand how the Fed is making monetary policy. Results here show that the Blue Chip consensus forecasts are a good proxy for the FOMC views. For example, they match the policymakers’ views as closely as do the Board staff forecasts presented at FOMC meetings. Using alternative forms of the Taylor rule, the authors show that the Blue Chip consensus and the Fed policymakers’ forecasts have almost identical implications for the monetary policy process.

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