Discussion Paper Details

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Title: Forecasting the Price of Oil

Author(s): Ron Alquist, Lutz Kilian and Robert J. Vigfusson

Publication Date: May 2011

Keyword(s): Asymmetries, Demand and supply, Forecasting, Oil price and Predictability

Programme Area(s): International Macroeconomics

Abstract: We address some of the key questions that arise in forecasting the price of crude oil. What do applied forecasters need to know about the choice of sample period and about the tradeoffs between alternative oil price series and model specifications? Are real or nominal oil prices predictable based on macroeconomic aggregates? Does this predictability translate into gains in out-of-sample forecast accuracy compared with conventional no-change forecasts? How useful are oil futures markets in forecasting the price of oil? How useful are survey forecasts? How does one evaluate the sensitivity of a baseline oil price forecast to alternative assumptions about future demand and supply conditions? How does one quantify risks associated with oil price forecasts? Can joint forecasts of the price of oil and of U.S. real GDP growth be improved upon by allowing for asymmetries?

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Bibliographic Reference

Alquist, R, Kilian, L and Vigfusson, R. 2011. 'Forecasting the Price of Oil'. London, Centre for Economic Policy Research.