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DOF chief says monitoring of growth forecasts to continue

By: - Reporter / @bendeveraINQ
/ 05:32 AM December 19, 2018

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said the government would continue to keep tabs on economists’ inflation and economic growth forecasts next year to make them accountable for their projections which were used as basis for consumer and business decisions.

Dominguez told reporters Monday night that the Department of Finance (DOF) only wanted to compare projections with actual numbers.

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“All I want is the score. [For example, as in basketball] we want to score how many of the three-point shots of Curry go in,” Dominguez said, referring to basketball star Stephen Curry.

While these forecasts have margins of error, Dominguez said analysts and economists should be made accountable when they put their projections out in public.

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Some institutions regularly release forecasts besides journalists or clients asking their forecasts ahead of the official data release.

“If you put it out there, we will check the accountability. If you say something in public, we should be able to score you, right? So we’re not making any comment if they’re good or bad,” the finance chief said.

Dominguez added that these forecasts, when published, eventually influenced decision-making and inflation expectations.

Headline inflation hit over nine-year highs in recent months partly due to higher excise, domestic food supply woes and the skyrocketing prices of oil in the world market.

“One of the effects is, you say something in public, if somebody reads it, he might act on it, right? And if he acts on it, he better know who is most right … because all of these names are obscure,” he said, referring to analysts and economists providing forecasts to investors, clients and journalists.

As such, he said: “We’ll do it again next year—we’ll do scoring again.”

“We’re making it public. It’s part of our job to educate the public,” Dominguez said, adding that the 15-percent margin of error that the DOF last Sunday said reflected “off-the-mark” forecasts was “a big margin.”

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The monthly inflation forecasts of the DOF, however, were also mostly off-the-mark, with an economist computing a margin of error of about 13 percent.

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TAGS: Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, growth forecasts, Inflation
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