THE MOST ACCURATE ECONOMIC FORECASTERS IN THE WORLD

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Photo: Flickr | Jeff McNeill

The January issue of Bloomberg Markets magazine features its rankings of the top macroeconomic forecasters in the world. Around 400 forecasters were surveyed, including 71 from the U.S.Bloomberg ranks not only the forecasting accuracy of individuals but also of firms. JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, UBS, and Normura International comprised the top five firms for forecasting, with a tiny range between scores.

Bruce Kasman, chief economist of the #1 ranked JPMorgan Chase, assesses 2013 like this:

“We’re forming a bottom now, and the trajectory of the global economy as we turn into 2013 is going to be modestly higher, but I think the emphasis is on the ‘modest.’ We’re getting very limited policy support in terms of monetary easing, and we’re continuing to get significant drag on the fiscal side. In fact, the U.S. drag is intensifying.”

In order to qualify for Bloomberg’s list, economists had to submit at least 15 forecasts in a minimum of three economic indicators. Bloomberg analysed forecasts from October 2010 to September 2012 and compared the forecasted numbers to the actual results in order to provide a score from 0-100 based on the accuracy of the forecaster. The more accurate the forecaster, the higher the score. Their results are organised by region.

From Bloomberg’s rankings, we now present the top two forecasters from every region of the world, listed from least to most accurate.

Much thanks to Bloomberg Markets.

Japan: Junko Nishioka

Firm: RBS Securities Japan

Score: 49.27

In a late November note, she wrote, 'Given the recent shakeup in Japan, if there is a recession we do not expect it to be long and deep, in contrast to past recessions. Considering that the US and China have shown signs of recovery recently, we believe the Japanese economy would return to positive growth in 2013.'

Source: Bloomberg, NASDAQ

Australia: Warren Hogan

Firm: Australia & New Zealand Banking

Score: 50.09

Hogan believes a strong AUD will keep downward pressure on interest rates, sending already all-time low rates even lower.

Source: Bloomberg, The Daily Telegraph

Japan: Hideo Kumano

Firm: Dai-Ichi Life Research Institute

Score: 50.74

Kumano has questioned Japanese candidate for Prime Minister Abe Shinzo's commitment to monetary easing -- and that's before Shinzo walked back his pledge for unlimited monetary easing during a debate.

Source: Bloomberg, The News, Business Insider

Australia: Scott Haslem

Firm: UBS

Score: 51.07

Haslem successfully predicted that the Reserve Bank of Australia would make a rate cut this week to provide a boost to this softening economy.

Source: Bloomberg, Business Insider, Sydney Morning Herald

Canada: James Blumenthal

Firm: Informa Global Markets

Score: 56.13

In April, Blumenthal was ranked the top forecaster for Canada's GDP and third for employment numbers by Bloomberg.

Source: Bloomberg

Canada: Avery Shenfeld

Firm: CIBC

Score: 56.35

Shenfeld has made headlines recently by suggesting that falling home prices in Canada aren't necessarily all bad news, since they might free up other avenues for spending.

Source: Bloomberg, CBC

U.S.: Dean Maki

Firm: Barclays

Score: 56.85

Maki defies conventional wisdom and asserts that the drop in the unemployment rate isn't due to discouraged workers who leave the labour force, but through retiring baby boomers.

Source: Bloomberg

South Africa: Gina Schoeman/Ilke Van Zyl

Firm: Absa Capital

Score: 57.10

This pair of economists recently lowered their 2012 and 2013 GDP forecasts for South Africa to 2.5 per cent and 3.0 per cent, respectively.

Source: Bloomberg, Absa Capital


U.S.: Joshua Shapiro

Firm: Mario Fiorini Ramirez Inc.

Score: 57.8

Shapiro, the #1 ranked U.S. forecaster, views the $1 trillion fiscal deficit in the U.S. as a drag on future economic growth, and forecasts high unemployment throughout 2013.

Source: Bloomberg

Mexico: Sergio Luna

Firm: Barclays

Score: 58.83

Luna has forecasted GDP growth of 3.8 per cent in 2013 followed by a slight decline to 3.5 per cent in 2014.

Source: Bloomberg, Citi via Business Insider

South Africa: Peter Attard Montalto

Firm: Nomura International

Score: 58.89

Montalto believes the most recent data shows the South Africa economy is slowing, but does not think the central bank will cut rates unless foreign direct investment falls.

Source: Bloomberg, Reuters

U.K.: Slavena Nazarova

Firm: Credit Agricol

Score: 60.24

In mid-November, Nazarova's team revised their forecast for the euro zone upwards to -0.1 per cent from -0.2 per cent, and predicted the recession would continue into the fourth quarter.

Source: Bloomberg

U.K.: Adam Chester/David Page

Firm: Lloyds Banking Group

Score: 60.56

After 2Q GDP growth in the U.K. was more negative than expected, Page described the economy as being in a 'resilient recession' despite expecting a return to positive growth the next quarter.

Source: Bloomberg

Brazil: Fabio Akira

Firm: JPMorgan Chase

Score: 60.63

Akira correctly predicted the sharp fall in GDP growth that saw Brazil go from 7.5 per cent growth rate in 2010 to just 2.7 per cent the following year. His estimate for 2011 was 3.8 per cent.

Source: Bloomberg, Reuters

Mexico: Gabriel Casillas/Delia Paredes

Firm: Grupo Financiero Banorte

Score: 60.67

Casillas (not pictured) was poached from JPMorgan Chase halfway through 2012 to come to GFB. He expects rate increases from Banxico to combat inflation in the near future.

Source: Bloomberg

Brazil: Fernando Fix

Firm: Votarantim Asset Management

Score: 61.52

Fix expects that the Brazilian central bank will raise rates to combat inflation that currently runs above its target. Brazilian economists expect growth will double to a little under 4 per cent in 2013.

Source: Bloomberg, Washington Post

Poland: Piotr Kalisz

Firm: Citigroup

Score: 61.57

Kalisz has recently called for the depreciation of the zloty in order to spur short-term economic growth in Poland.

Source: Bloomberg

India: Dipankar Mitra

Firm: Motilal Oswal Securities

Score: 61.94

Mitra has predicted that the rupee appreciates to 52/USD in 2013 and 50/USD the following year -- still a far cry from its high of 44.4/USD in July 2011.

Source: Bloomberg, The Economic Times

China: Yao Wei

Firm: Societe Generale

Score: 62.42

Wei believes the October slowdown in Chinese lending is an indication that the People's Bank of China is targeting $8.5 trillion in loans for 2012.

Source: Bloomberg, MarketWatch

Euro Zone: Jens Kramer

Firm: Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale

Score: 62.79

Kramer dismissed the August spike in inflation as an outlier, blaming rising energy costs and predicting a return to decreased inflation for the weak euro zone economies.

Source: Bloomberg

China: Song Yu

Firm: Goldman Sachs

Score: 63.40

In May, Yu cut the Chinese 2012 GDP forecast to 8.1 per cent from 8.6 per cent, much closer to the 7.8 per cent growth rate currently predicted by the IMF. Yu views the lack of socioeconomic reforms as a major impediment to Chinese growth.

Source: Bloomberg, IMF

India: Sonal Varma

Firm: Nomura International

Score: 63.75

Varma recently predicted that the Indian government would run a budget deficit of 5.8 per cent of GDP this fiscal year, which exceeds the target of 5.3 per cent.

Source: Bloomberg

Poland: Maciej Reluga

Euro Zone: Andreas Scheuerle/Peter Leonhardt

Firm: Dekabank Deutsche Girozentrale

Score: 65.93

Scheuerle forecasts stagnant euro zone economies in 2013, with nations focusing on structural reforms -- especially regarding new banking rules.

Source: Bloomberg

If you're more concerned with colour than accuracy, we've got your man:

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