How Far Can Forecasting Models Forecast? Forecast Content Horizons for Some Important Macroeconomic Variables

John W. Galbraith & Greg Tkacz
For stationary transformations of variables, there exists a maximum horizon beyond which forecasts can provide no more information about the variable than is present in the unconditional mean. Meteorological forecasts, typically excepting only experimental or exploratory situations, are not reported beyond this horizon; by contrast, little generally accepted information about such maximum horizons is available for economic variables. The authors estimate such content horizons for a variety of economic variables, and compare these with the...
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