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Long Range Forecast Sample

One of the most common requests of the Financial Forecast Center is to post actual forecasts over each financial indicator we publish. While it would be tedious and probably confusing to post all prior forecasts, we can present a sample.


Below is a forecast of the S&P 500 from December 2015 over a 36 month window. The forecast window covers all of 2016, 2017 and 2018. The black line is the actual S&P 500 while the red line is the forecast.

Chart of Sample Long Range Forecast of S&P 500 Stock Market Index

Each forecast value was produced in December 2015, thus the forecast for December 2018 was a forecast for 36 months out (the forecast for December 2017 was for 24 months out, etc.). The average error over the whole 36 month window is 2.9%.


All in all, not bad.

Below is a table of the actual S&P 500, the forecast values and the error (actual minus predicted).

Month Forward Date Actual Value Forecast Value Error
0 Dec 2015 2054.83 2054.83 0.00
1 Jan 2016 1921 2028 -107
2 Feb 2016 1903 1880 23
3 Mar 2016 2018 1980 38
4 Apr 2016 2075 2032 43
5 May 2016 2065 2076 -11
6 Jun 2016 2083 2053 30
7 Jul 2016 2147 2088 59
8 Aug 2016 2177 2088 89
9 Sep 2016 2157 2111 46
10 Oct 2016 2144 2128 16
11 Nov 2016 2163 2156 7
12 Dec 2016 2247 2242 5
13 Jan 2017 2274 2295 -21
14 Feb 2017 2327 2273 54
15 Mar 2017 2367 2269 98
16 Apr 2017 2360 2316 44
17 May 2017 2394 2351 43
18 Jun 2017 2434 2376 58
19 Jul 2017 2453 2392 61
20 Aug 2017 2457 2444 13
21 Sep 2017 2492 2468 24
22 Oct 2017 2556 2511 45
23 Nov 2017 2592 2544 48
24 Dec 2017 2665 2518 147
25 Jan 2018 2787 2494 293
26 Feb 2018 2708 2489 219
27 Mar 2018 2705 2530 175
28 Apr 2018 2655 2587 68
29 May 2018 2699 2661 38
30 Jun 2018 2754 2679 75
31 Jul 2018 2791 2713 78
32 Aug 2018 2856 2751 105
33 Sep 2018 2902 2706 196
34 Oct 2018 2790 2664 126
35 Nov 2018 2721 2694 27
36 Dec 2018 2573 2683 -110

If you would like details on how to subscribe to FFC's long range forecasts, please see our subscription page.