Economic forecasting is difficult, largely because of the many sources of nonstationarity influencing observational time series. Forecasting competitions aim to improve the practice of economic forecasting by providing very large data sets on which the efficacy of forecasting methods can be evaluated. We consider the general principles that seem to be the foundation for successful forecasting, and show how these are relevant for methods that did well in the M4 competition. We establish some general properties of the M4 data set, which we use to improve the basic benchmark methods, as well as the Card method that we created for our submission to that competition. A data generation process is proposed that captures the salient features of the annual data in M4.


Castle, J.L., Doornik, J.A. & Hendry, D.F. (2021) "Forecasting principles from experience with forecasting competitions", Forecasting 3(1).
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