Here’s how we put together our list of best and worst economists:We started with an extensive list of banks and brokerage firms that offered economic research to their clients.
We then narrowed the list to those providing 2011 forecasts for five important indicators: GDP growth, inflation, labour, interest rates, and foreign exchange.
Specifically, we considered real year-over-year GDP growth for 2011, CPI for 2011, the U-3 unemployment as of December 2011, the 10-year Treasury Note yield at the close of December 2011, and the euro-U.S. dollar exchange rate at the close of December 2011.
The forecasts were effective January 1, 2011 or near that date.
Our primary data source was Bloomberg. We also reached out to the respective research departments multiple times, asking them to confirm our data as well as provide us with any data we didn’t have. Some firms responded quickly and either confirmed or corrected our data. Others were less helpful, and some even refused to share their data with us.
In the latter cases, we relied on the numbers we had already found.
Once we had all of our data, we calculated the magnitude of error for each forecast. Then we took a weighted average of those errors. The firm with the lowest error scored highest in terms of accuracy in our study.
Click here to see the results >