Logout / Access Other products Drop Down Arrow
Get live help Monday-Friday from 7AM-7PM ET (12PM-12PM GMT)  •  Contact Us
Check out our new FAQ section!
RSS Feed
TitleUsing Data Buffet: Forecast Scenario Narratives
AuthorPhillip Thorne
Question

Moody's Analytics regularly produces a set of forecasts according to a range of alternative assumptions. The explanatory "scenario narratives" are accessible through the Geo Wizard and Reference Files.

Answer

Why assumptions?

Economic forecasting is not a crystal ball.  The process inevitably involves assumptions, and a responsible analyst picks a range of assumptions to produce alternative forecasts across the span of future possibilities.  That is, a forecaster cannot say "employment will move like so, exactly" but rather says "employment will probably move within this finite range."

During our monthly forecast cycle, Moody's Analytics generates a half-dozen standard alternatives.  As economic conditions warrant, we may change our assumptions to explore possibilities of current interest.  Hence, it's important to regularly read our written documentation, because "Scenario 1" may not have the same meaning as in last month's vintage.

How do I obtain the narratives?

A. Through the Geography Wizard:

  1. Go to DataBuffet.com.
  2. Pick a forecast catalog.
  3. Browse to a concept-node (black text, red line chart-icon).
  4. Left-click to open the Geography Wizard.  (If you have reversed your mouse buttons, right-click.)
  5. If this forecast has scenarios, they will be listed in the lower half of the dialog box.  Click the link "[View Assumptions]."
  6. A second dialog box appears, labeled "Scenario Assumptions."  Use the drop-down box to pick from the list.
  7. If the dialog is blank, please contact us to report the omission.

B. Through the Reference Files:

  1. Go to DataBuffet.com.
  2. Menu:Tools » Reference Files.  This will open a new tab in the right-hand pane.
  3. Scroll down to "Forecast Documentation."
  4. Look for items labeled "Scenario Descriptions."  These are PDF files.
  5. Depending on your browser settings, the PDF may open directly in your browser, or in an external helper application.  If you have difficulty, right-click and save the file locally.

C. Ask us to email them to you:

What scenarios are offered?

See also:

What else should I know?

In our monthly workflow, we update the forecast time series first, but the narratives may be lag several days. Please check the vintage labels.

Our U.S. Macro Model is at the core of our process, and its assumptions apply to subsidiary forecast models (U.S. states, metro areas, etc.).  The Global National Forecasts may use separate assumptions.

Not all of our forecast products include alternative scenarios, or a full range.

Past vintages are not accessible through Data Buffet.  Instead, contact your sales representative.

If you look at series mnemonics, scenarios are recognizable by a suffix on their concept code.  For example, if the default forecast is named FET.US, its alternatives are named FET_B.US, FET_S1.US, FET_O2.US, etc.

The "baseline" (_B) scenario uses the same assumptions as the default (no suffix) forecast, but is generated about a week later.  The two will show the same values if and only if they have the same vintage.

If you have purchased a custom forecast from us, it's essentially another alternative scenario, and similar naming rules and mechanisms apply.  However, it will not appear in the catalog tree or be documented in Mnemonic 411.  Please contact us for access details and documentation.