Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The Accuracy of USDA's Export Forecasts

MacDonald, Stephen (1992): The Accuracy of USDA's Export Forecasts. Published in: No. ERS/USDA Staff Report No. AGES 9224

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USDA's quarterly forecasts of fiscal year agricultural exports by commodity and region were examined for their reliability in predicting annual changes during 1977-89. Most of the forecasts were strongly correlated with actual exports. Most obvious exceptions probably stemmed from rounding errors. Bias was not a problem for the forecasts of total exports in any quarter, nor for most of the commodity forecasts. There was some upward bias in the forecasts for less developed countries, and downward bias for some developed countries. The USDA forecasts were conservative; they were more likely to underestimate the magnitude of change than to overestimate it.

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