Build #: 12810

Survey of Professional Forecasters (SPF)

The ECB Survey of Professional Forecasters (SPF) is a quarterly survey of expectations for the rates of inflation, real GDP growth and unemployment in the euro area for several horizons, together with a quantitative assessment of the uncertainty surrounding them. The participants are experts affiliated with financial or non-financial institutions based within the European Union.

SPF webpage: http://www.ecb.europa.eu/stats/prices/indic/forecast/html/index.en.html

The ECB Survey of Professional Forecasters (SPF) is a quarterly survey of expectations for the rates of inflation, real GDP growth and unemployment in the euro area for several horizons, together with a quantitative assessment of the uncertainty surrounding them. Furthermore, participants are asked to provide their assumptions underlying these forecasts, for the oil price in US dollars, the exchange rate of the euro vs. the US dollar, the interest rate for the Main Refinancing Operations (MROs) and annual growth in euro area unit labour costs.

Forecasts are on the one hand provided as calendar-year averages - for the current calendar year and the following two years as well as for the longer term (depending on the timing of the round four or five years ahead) - and on the other hand for the rolling horizons one and two years ahead of the latest available data point at the start of the survey.

The participants to the Survey of Professional Forecasters are experts affiliated with financial or non-financial institutions based within the European Union.

For a description of the series code structure please see this document

Dataset Browsing and Excel export XML export
SPF - Survey of Professional Forecasters   Data Bulk download

Around the time of its inception in June 1998, the ECB began preparations – in collaboration with the national central banks (NCBs) in the EU – to establish a survey of the private sector’s expectations of future euro area macroeconomic developments, in particular inflation. And thus, the first SPF took place in the first quarter of 1999, immediately following the establishment of the single currency. Since then, surveys have been carried out on a quarterly basis, thereby contributing to the growth of a rich source of information on euro area macroeconomic forecasts and expectations.

Occasional Paper No.8, An introduction to the ECB Survey of Professional Forecasters, 2003

Sample Questionnaire

Dates when the SPF has been conducted and published

 

In the context of the ten-year anniversary of the SPF’s launch in January 1999, the ECB sent a special questionnaire to the participants in the SPF in autumn 2008. The questionnaire contained questions on timeliness and methods of forecasting.

Summary of the results from the first special questionnaire for participants of the SPF

Occasional Paper No.59, The ECB survey of professional forecasters (SPF) – A review after eight years’ experience, 2007

 

In the context of the fifteen-year anniversary of the SPF’s launch in January 1999, the ECB sent a second special questionnaire to the participants in the SPF in autumn 2013. The questionnaire contained questions on the methods of forecasting and potential changes since the start of the financial crisis.

Summary results from the second special questionnaire for participants of the SPF