It is commonly accepted that information is helpful if it can be exploited to improve a decision making process. In economics, decisions are often based on forecasts of up- or downward movements of the variable of interest. We point out that directional forecasts can provide a useful framework to assess the economic forecast value when loss functions (or success measures) are properly formulated to account for realized signs and realized magnitudes of directional movements. We discuss a general approach to evaluate (directional) forecasts which is simple to implement, robust to outlying or unreasonable forecasts and which provides an economically interpretable loss/success functional framework. As such, the measure of directional forecast value is a readily available alternative to the commonly used squared error loss criterion.
Directional forecasts directional forecast value forecast evaluation economic forecast value mean squared forecast error mean absolute forecast error