We consider whether survey density forecasts (such as the inflation and output growth histograms of the US Survey of Professional Forecasters) are superior to unconditional density forecasts. The unconditional forecasts assume that the average level of uncertainty that has been experienced in the past will continue to prevail in the future, whereas the SPF projections ought to be adapted to the current conditions and the outlook at each forecast origin. The SPF forecasts might be expected to outperform the unconditional densities at the shortest horizons, but it transpires that such is not the case for the aggregate forecasts of either variable, or for the majority of the individual respondents for forecasting inflation.


Clements, M. P. (2018). “Are macroeconomic density forecasts informative?” International Journal of Forecasting, 34(2), 181-198.
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