The report was commissioned by the federal government to ensure that the most up-to-date economic and fiscal forecasting method continued to be used by the government and to benchmark Canadian practices against the best in the world. The primary objective of the report was to assess the accuracy of economic and fiscal forecasts and to determine what changes might improve accuracy and ultimately the conduct of public policy.
Recommendations related to the need for greater transparency in budget-related information, improving the accuracy and timeliness of data, consideration of fiscal rules and possible institutional changes to the forecast process.
The current budget planning framework reflects several of the recommendations made in the report.
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The IMF study, carried out at the request of the Department of Finance, reviews federal budget forecasting and provides a comparison with other industrialized countries.
Overall, the study provides a positive assessment of Canada's budgeting practices and supports the Canadian approach to budget forecasting, including the use of input from a wide range of private sector forecasters. It finds that Canada's forecasting process is governed by a strong institutional framework and is highly transparent compared to many other countries.
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