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  • We're at the global headquarters of the International Monetary Fund in Washington, DC.

  • Every six months, the IMF publishes a report called the World Economic Outlook,

  • where it gives a forecast for the global economy.

  • Forecasts like these arebig undertaking. So how are they made?

  • We're going to give you a behind-the- scenes look inside the process.

  • We are once again downgrading growth for 2019 to 3%.

  • So that's Gita Gopinath, she's the chief economist at the IMF.

  • We caught Gita presenting the IMF's World Economic Outlook report to journalists from

  • all around the world at the fund's annual meetings in Washington.

  • The World Economic Outlook is a nearly 200 page-long report that includes

  • hundreds of thousands of data points from 189 member countries of the IMF.

  • It's released twice a year and includes economic predictions for the next two years,

  • along with thematic chapters that look at big-picture themes like productivity, climate change or technology.

  • We are really the only institution that covers literally everybody.

  • So how do economists even get to predictions in reports like the World Economic Outlook?

  • Let's start at the beginningFirst, teams collect data from countries all over world.

  • Government agencies measure and report stats like GDP, inflation or trade balances

  • this is calledhard data.”  There's alsosoft data,” which includes surveys of businesses and consumers

  • on how they feel about the economic environment now and in the future.

  • The IMF's country teams then send this data back to Washington.

  • I would say for each country, we're talking one or two thousand data points.

  • We collect up to three or four hundred different series for most countries.

  • The country teams send us new sets of data approximately 1,500 times every six months.

  • So we're looking at a lot of numbers. A lot of data.

  • It's not just the big points they look atGDPfor example,

  • helps provide a snapshot of a country's overall economybut individual gauges are also important.

  • For example, oil prices matter a lot for predictions about GDP growth in countries like Saudi Arabia or Venezuela.

  • That's because their economies are largely dependent on oil.

  • How do you make sure this data is good data, it's not manipulated or wrong?

  • We have a whole series of tests and different ways of looking at it.

  • Obviously we make sure the numbers actually make sense.

  • We do consistency checks to make sure, for example, that the components of GDP actually add up to GDP.

  • We look at charts to make numbers appear to be trending in the right direction.

  • So once all this data is collected, economists don't just plug it into an equation to generate a prediction.

  • They have to consider a lot of other factors, too.

  • Where we really try to provide value added is pulling common threads,

  • trying to come up with a common story that is not like

  • we are just adding up countries and seeing what the global result is.

  • The teams here at the IMF start working on their predictions in the months

  • leading up to the publication of the World Economic Outlook.

  • And they are constantly updating their forecasts as the data evolves.

  • It would be nice if we had a process whereby we come to final numbers and then we write the report.

  • But the truth is that the report is written as the numbers evolve because we get data releases all the time.

  • That still doesn't mean economists get it right.

  • In fact, IMF research itself has shown that economists often fail to predict recessions.

  • An analysis of 63 countries from 1992 to 2014 found the IMF consistently overestimated GDP growth

  • leading up to a recession and only revised growth downwards once the downturn was already happening.

  • Other papers have uncovered similar findings.

  • Another challenge for economists is translating predictions from wonky data into plain English.

  • Normally when you come out of graduate school you start with very technical language but as you

  • go along your career, you start realizing you really need to simplify your language

  • and boil it down to what it means for individual firms, families, governments.

  • So we are walking into a meeting where final preparations are underway

  • ahead of the press conference where the World Economic Outlook is released.

  • We got a look inside a meeting happening just days before the report was released.

  • Economists discussed their findings with select members of the press and

  • studied up on the material so that they'd be prepared to answer questions about any country in the report.

  • The trick is figuring out how to provide a sensible answer

  • to questions on places that people may not know very much about.

  • So today's the big day the report is released.

  • These are the predictions that everyone has been waiting for and we are going to check it out.

  • This year's report found global growth will slow to 3% in 2019,

  • that's the lowest level since the 2008-2009 financial crisis.

  • A lot of factors affected the IMF's forecast, but some of the biggest included more trade barriers,

  • geopolitical uncertainty and aging populations in advanced economies.

  • The data is all published online, so that many other economists around the world

  • can use it to make their own predictions.

  • How do you make sure that the predictions here in the forecast are constantly kind of up to date and relevant?

  • You have a lot of questions in the press conference about the news of the day.

  • What are you doing to be prepared?

  • So, these estimates actually they stay alive.

  • At some point we freeze it because it has to be published and put in the document, but

  • as of now we have these numbers constantly being updated.

  • Even after the findings are presented at the IMF's press conference,

  • they're highlighted throughout the next days and months by IMF officials and other world leaders.

  • The world economy is slowing down, we are in a synchronized slowdown.

  • So you might think that after this is all done, economists can take a breather for a little bit.

  • But it turns out, they're already working on the economic outlook for next year.

  • We actually start thinking about the next one even before we publish the forecast.

  • Hey everyone, it's Elizabeth, thanks so much for watching our video.

  • What do you think about the making of the World Economic Outlook? Let us know in the comments.

  • And you can always leave us other ideas there too. See you later.

We're at the global headquarters of the International Monetary Fund in Washington, DC.

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エコノミストはどのように予測を立てるのか|CNBCレポート (How economists make predictions | CNBC Reports)

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    Summer に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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