Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Just a short blog today to give the first results of my forecasting project. I predicted a 2.8% real GDP growth at annual rates and the actual was 2.3%. RBC, Scotia and TD all had 2.5% and were the closest among the Bank forecasts. Trevor Tombe (University of Calgary)  tossed out a 1.4% last night and claimed a victory over me under the Price Is Right Rules (cannot go over). Stephen Gordon (Laval) was spot on with 2.3% done yesterday morning. Of course if you just had used the unconditional estimate (the sample mean) of 2.4% you would also have been a star!

In general, I think the forecasts all were reasonably close. The surprising thing in my view today was the monthly release of the September number of -1.98% at annual rates for September 2015. This was not great and certainly dampened the quarterly number.

Just to get the ball rolling for 2015Q4, my initial forecast is -0.5%.  Let the next recession talk begin.

Dec 2: Did anyone else notice that the entire history or real GDP growth at 2007 prices has been changed from 1981Q1 onward . Not big changes but if you are in the forecasting business make them!

See http://www.statcan.gc.ca/eng/nea/dates/index#niea

Gross domestic product by income and by expenditure (national) 380-0063 to 380-0076, 380-0078 to 380-0088, 380-0100 to 380-0107
Release date Reference period
March 3, 2015 First quarter 2014 to fourth quarter 2014
May 29, 2015 First quarter 2014 to first quarter 2015
September 1, 2015 First quarter 2015 to second quarter 2015
December 1, 2015 First quarter 1981 to third quarter 2015
March 1, 2016 First quarter 2015 to fourth quarter 2015
May 31, 2016 First quarter 2015 to first quarter 2016
August 31, 2016 First quarter 2016 to second quarter 2016
November 30, 2016 First quarter 2016 to third quarter 2016
March 2, 2017 First quarter 2016 to fourth quarter 2016
Gross domestic product by income and by expenditure (provincial) 13-016-X
Release date Refer