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Mr. José M. Barrionuevo
A simple criterion based on the properties of the forecast error is presented to evaluate the accuracy of forecasts. The efficiency conditions of an optimization problem are used to show that under rational expectations the standard statistical conditions are necessary, but not sufficient to ensure efficiency. This criterion is used to examine the accuracy of the World Economic Outlook projections of growth and inflation for the seven major industrial countries. Time series models are then estimated and the efficiency of the World Economic Outlook projections relative to a benchmark time series model is examined. A number of empirical tests suggest that the year ahead projections of growth and inflation in the World Economic Outlook are unbiased after 1982.
Mr. José M. Barrionuevo

Growth Theil Statistic TS 2/ 1.0 2.0 0.8 0.6 1.3 1.0 0.6 1.2 1.1 Theil Statistic RW 3/ 0.5 0.9 0.7 0.7 0.7 0.8 0.6 0.5 0.7 Inflation Theil Statistic TS 0.8 1.2 0.7 0.9 1.1 1.4 1.1 0.8 1.1 Theil Statistic RW 0.7 0.8 0.6 0.8 1.0 0.5 0.9 0.8 0.7 1/ The sample period is 1971-91. The number of observations for the individual country tests is 21. In the pooled tests there are 147 observations. 2/ The Theil inequality statistic TS is defined as

Mr. José M. Barrionuevo

.8 0.6 1.3 1.0 0.6 1.2 1.1 Theil statistic RW 4 0.5 0.4 0.7 0.7 0.7 0.8 0.6 0.5 0.7 (Inflation) Theil statistic TS 3 0.8 1.2 0.7 0.9 1.1 1.4 1.1 0.8 1.1 Theil statistic RW 4 0.7 0.8 0.6 0.8 1.0 0.5 0.9 0.8 0.7 1 The sample period is 1971–91. The number of observations for the individual country tests is 21. In the pooled tests there are 147 observations. 2 Prior to unification. 3 The Theil inequality statistic TS is defined as the ratio of the