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The track record of the Commission forecasts



This paper argues that the Commission forecasts dispose of a reasonable track record. Most of the traditional tests for examining the quality of predictions are passed in a satisfactory way. The comparisons with forecasts made by the IMF, OECD and national forecast institutes are not unfavourable for the European Commission. In particular it is found that there is no strong evidence of presenting an overly optimistic picture of the economy in the Commission short-term forecasts. The rosy gloss which, according to some, sometimes hangs over the Commission forecasts is related to some form of cycle denial. This could maybe lead to an optimistic bias further ahead in the future, but applying this to the short-term forecasts of the European Commission is unjustified.

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