What are we studying? The role of central-bank forecasts in Hungarian inflation targeting in the first five years
This paper marks the fifth anniversary of the inflation targeting regime in Hungary by reviewing the role of forecasting in inflation-targeting regimes and evaluating the experiences of the National Bank of Hungary. A brief historical review is followed by a forecast assessment. Based on theoretically justified assessment of conditional forecasts, the following conclusions can be drawn. In most cases, the turning points in inflation were projected correctly, i. e. the monetary-policy signals were adequate. The statistical analysis of key forecast errors revealed that projection errors were unbiased. There were, however, projection errors as well, in wage adjustment, household consumption growth, and external activity of the corporate sector. Comprehensive analysis of the structure of the forecasting errors indicates that ex post forecasts have not utilized all information to an optimal extent. There was overreaction to the latest-quarter CPI figure, while the effect of nominal wages, exchange rates and oil prices might be weaker in the short run and stronger in the long run, compared with the National Bank forecasting methods.
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