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Survey of Professional Forecasters


The Survey of Professional Forecasters is the oldest quarterly survey of macroeconomic forecasts in the United States. The survey began in 1968 and was conducted by the American Statistical Association and the National Bureau of Economic Research. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia took over the survey in 1990.

The Survey of Professional Forecasters' web page offers the actual releases, documentation, mean and median forecasts of all the respondents as well as the individual responses from each economist. The individual responses are kept confidential by using identification numbers.

Historical SPF Forecast Data


Baseline Variables

Download one variable at a time

Download all variables: mean, median, cross-sectional dispersion, and individual forecasts

Probability Variables: Excel file containing mean probabilities of annual inflation and output growth falling into various ranges and the mean probability that quarter-over-quarter output growth will be negative.

Short-Term and Long-Term Inflation Forecasts: Expected inflation over the next year and the next 10 years.

Anxious Index: The probability of a decline in real GDP in the quarter following the quarter in which the survey is taken. Includes chart and data.

Errata: Shows corrections to the historical data. (731 KB, 46 pages; last update: November 30, 2017)

Special Variables and Special Questions

Long-Run Inflation Forecasts and the FOMC's Longer-Run Goal for Inflation (Second Quarter 2012)

Growth in House Prices (First-Quarter Surveys)

Extended Forecasts for Real GDP, Unemployment, and 3-Month and 10-Year Treasuries (Fourth Quarter 2009)

Extended Horizon for Real GDP, Unemployment, and 3-Month and 10-Year Treasuries (Third Quarter 2009)

Extended Horizon for Real GDP and Unemployment (Second Quarter 2009)

Inflation Targeting (Fourth Quarter 2007)

Resources

Documentation:  Provides information on all variables, transformations, and files in the survey. (390 KB, 62 pages; last update: October 16, 2019)

Data Sources and Descriptions: Shows the specifications of the economic variables being forecast. (60 KB, 11 pages; last update: August 9, 2018)

Economic Insights article: "Fifty Years of the Survey of Professional Forecasters"

Forecast Error Statistics: Shows the latest statistics on the accuracy of the projections for most variables in the survey. For an article summarizing the results through the survey of 2010 Q2, see Realistic Evaluation of Real-Time Forecasts in the Survey of Professional Forecasters

SPF  Panelists' Forecasting Methods: See this paper for the results of a special survey on the methods of professional forecasters.

Academic Bibliography: Contains a comprehensive list of academic articles that discuss or use the Survey of Professional Forecasters.

Dates of Previous Surveys: Shows the release dates of previous surveys.

Examples of Survey Forms: See a recent survey form and several forms from the past.

Discussion of Survey of Professional Forecasters'  Long-Term Forecast for Inflation

Discussion of the New Industry Classification  (144 KB, 12 pages)

Other Forecast Surveys

ECB Survey of Professional Forecasters