Discussion paper

DP4587 Federal Funds Rate Prediction

We examine the forecasting performance of a range of time-series models of the daily US effective federal funds (FF) rate recently proposed in the literature. We find that: (i) most of the models and predictor variables considered produce satisfactory one-day-ahead forecasts of the FF rate; (ii) the best forecasting model is a simple univariate model where the future FF rate is forecast using the current difference between the FF rate and its target; (iii) combining the forecasts from various models generally yields modest improvements on the best performing model. These results have a natural interpretation and clear policy implications.


Sarno, L, D Thornton and G Valente (2004), ‘DP4587 Federal Funds Rate Prediction‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 4587. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp4587