Whether it’s an unforeseen financial crash, a shock election result or an expected barbecue season that sees record rainfall, forecasts have impacts on us all. But do forecasters tell you all that they know or what they really believe? When is your gut feeling likely to be better than a computer’s prediction? Can you accurately predict your own emotional reaction to future events like a new job or a new house? And when is a ‘forecast’ not a forecast? Forewarned will answer these questions, and many more besides, covering a wide range of topics, from business to politics, sport and lotteries to that old perennial, the weather. Forewarned is a consumer’s guide to prediction, based on the very latest scientific research. By the end of the book you’ll be better placed to make informed decisions in a volatile world. You’ll know when forecasts can be a reliable guide to the vicissitudes and uncertainties of the future - and when they are best ignored.
Concise, engaging, and highly intuitive—this accessible guide equips you with an understanding of all the basic principles of forecasting Making accurate predictions about the economy has always been difficult, as F. A. Hayek noted when accepting his Nobel Prize in economics, but today forecasters have to contend with increasing complexity and unpredictable feedback loops. In this accessible and engaging guide, David Hendry, Michael Clements, and Jennifer Castle provide a concise and highly intuitive overview of the process and problems of forecasting. They explain forecasting concepts including how to evaluate forecasts, how to respond to forecast failures, and the challenges of forecasting accurately in a rapidly changing world. Topics covered include: What is a forecast? How are forecasts judged? And how can forecast failure be avoided? Concepts are illustrated using real-world examples including financial crises, the uncertainty of Brexit, and the Federal Reserve’s record on forecasting. This is an ideal introduction for university students studying forecasting, practitioners new to the field and for general readers interested in how economists forecast.
Why should we be interested in macroeconomic survey expectations? This important book offers an in-depth treatment of this question from a point of view not covered in existing works on time-series econometrics and forecasting. Clements presents the nature of survey data, addresses some of the difficulties posed by the way in which survey expectations are elicited and considers the evaluation of point predictions and probability distributions. He outlines how, from a behavioural perspective, surveys offer insight into how economic agents form their expectations.
Go beyond technique to master the difficult judgement calls of forecasting A variety of software can be used effectively to achieve accurate forecasting, but no software can replace the essential human component. You may be new to forecasting, or you may have mastered the statistical theory behind the software’s predictions, and even more advanced “power user” techniques for the software itself—but your forecasts will never reach peak accuracy unless you master the complex judgement calls that the software cannot make. Profit From Your Forecasting Software addresses the issues that arise regularly, and shows you how to make the correct decisions to get the most out of your software. Taking a non-mathematical approach to the various forecasting models, the discussion covers common everyday decisions such as model choice, forecast adjustment, product hierarchies, safety stock levels, model fit, testing, and much more. Clear explanations help you better understand seasonal indices, smoothing coefficients, mean absolute percentage error, and r-squared, and an exploration of psychological biases provides insight into the decision to override the software’s forecast. With a focus on choice, interpretation, and judgement, this book goes beyond the technical manuals to help you truly grasp the more intangible skills that lead to better accuracy. Explore the advantages and disadvantages of alternative forecasting methods in different situations Master the interpretation and evaluation of your software’s output Learn the subconscious biases that could affect your judgement toward intervention Find expert guidance on testing, planning, and configuration to help you get the most out of your software Relevant to sales forecasters, demand planners, and analysts across industries, Profit From Your Forecasting Software is the much sought-after “missing piece” in forecasting reference.