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Abstract

One-step-ahead forecasts of quarterly beef, pork, and poultry production are examined and evaluated based on traditional criteria for optimality-efficiency and unbiasedness-as well as their performance versus a univariate time-series model. However, traditional regression methodology for evaluating forecasts is avoided due to interpretive issues. Instead, an empirical framework focusing on forecast errors in employed. Results suggest USDA forecasts are unbiased, but generally not efficient. That is, they do not fully incorporate the information contained in past forecasts. Moreover, USDA's predictions do not encompass all the information contained in forecasts generated by simple time-series models. Thus, practitioners who use the USDA forecasts may want to supplement them with time-series forecasts.

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