Forecasting the Nominal Brent Oil Price with VARs—One Model Fits All?

Author/Editor:

Benjamin Beckers ; Samya Beidas-Strom

Publication Date:

November 25, 2015

Electronic Access:

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Disclaimer: This Working Paper should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF.The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to further debate

Summary:

We carry out an ex post assessment of popular models used to forecast oil prices and propose a host of alternative VAR models based on traditional global macroeconomic and oil market aggregates. While the exact specification of VAR models for nominal oil price prediction is still open to debate, the bias and underprediction in futures and random walk forecasts are larger across all horizons in relation to a large set of VAR specifications. The VAR forecasts generally have the smallest average forecast errors and the highest accuracy, with most specifications outperforming futures and random walk forecasts for horizons up to two years. This calls for caution in reliance on futures or the random walk for forecasting, particularly for near term predictions. Despite the overall strength of VAR models, we highlight some performance instability, with small alterations in specifications, subsamples or lag lengths providing widely different forecasts at times. Combining futures, random walk and VAR models for forecasting have merit for medium term horizons.

Series:

Working Paper No. 15/251

Subject:

English

Publication Date:

November 25, 2015

ISBN/ISSN:

9781513524276/1018-5941

Stock No:

WPIEA2015251

Price:

$18.00 (Academic Rate:$18.00)

Format:

Paper

Pages:

32

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