Little is known about the accuracy of expert outlooks, so heavily relied upon by industry participants and policy makers, regarding the future path of oil prices. Using the regular publications by the Energy Information Administration (EIA), we examine the accuracy of annual recursive oil price forecasts generated by the National Energy Modeling System model of the Agency for forecast horizons of up to 15 years. Our results reveal that the EIA model outperforms the benchmark random walk model around the two ends of the forecast horizon spectrum. Additionally, at the longer horizons, simple econometric forecasting models often produce similar, if not better accuracy than the EIA model. Time varying such specifications generally also exhibit stability in their forecast performance. Finally, although combining forecasts does not change the overall patterns, some additional accuracy gains are obtained at intermediate horizons, and in some cases, forecast performance stability is also achieved.

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Keywords expert outlooks, forecast combinations, long run forecasting, Oil price
Persistent URL
Journal Macroeconomic Dynamics
Bernard, J.-T. (Jean-Thomas), Khalaf, L, Kichian, M. (Maral), & Yelou, C. (Clement). (2017). OIL PRICE FORECASTS FOR THE LONG TERM: EXPERT OUTLOOKS, MODELS, OR BOTH?. Macroeconomic Dynamics, 1–19. doi:10.1017/S1365100516001279