Forecast, Economic

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Forecast, Economic


a system of scientific research on trends in the future development of the economy as a whole and of particular elements in the economy.

In the socialist countries economic forecasts cover the problems of the development of the productive forces and production relations. Economic forecasts make use of forecasts on the development of science and technology, the natural movement of the population, natural resources, and changes in the environment. Among the subdivisions in a standard economic forecast are forecasts concerning labor resources and labor productivity, the reproduction of social wealth and the capital investments necessary for this, the standard of living of the population, national economic dynamics and structural advances in production, and the composition and technological level of production. Economic forecasts also include forecasts regarding improvements in the production equipment of the sectors of the economy, as well as forecasts of the territorial distribution of production, the development of natural resources, the development of the world economy and foreign economic ties, and improvements in the administration of the national economy.

Under socialism the elaboration of an economic forecast is a scientific, analytic stage in national economic planning. It is also the research foundation for preparing the overall concept of the plan, specific plan decisions, and plan targets. The economic forecast outlines areas and possibilities for setting tasks and goals and reveals the most important problems to be worked out in the plan. Economic forecasts consider the variants for actively influencing the objective possibilities for future development. In the elaboration of the long-term plan for the development of the national economy, economic forecasts are particularly important.

An economic forecast prepared for the substantiation of national economic plans should contain a description of the national economic significance of the problem under study, a description of the underlying data, and the methods and models used in its elaboration, an analysis of past trends and patterns in the development of the object of forecasting, an assessment of the level achieved in the appropriate sector, and the substantiation of hypotheses used for the period covered in the forecast. In addition, an economic forecast should contain an evaluation of the modes and possible levels of development in a particular sector of the economy, an evaluation of the reliability of the results of the forecast, and conclusions and proposals concerning the most effective modes of development in the sector under study.

The methodology of an economic forecast is based on Marxist-Leninist teaching on the lawlike development of society, on the objectivity of economic laws, on expanded socialist reproduction, and on the building of the material and technical basis for socialism and communism. Various specific methods are used in working out an economic forecast (see).

The elaboration of economic forecasts has also become common in the capitalist countries, where forecasting is an important element in assessments by the large monopolies and the bourgeois state of prospects for development, from the standpoint of the effective investment of capital and the military, strategic, and political goals of the state. In the capitalist countries economic forecasts are based on bourgeois concepts of economic growth and social development. As a rule, the forecasts of bourgeois specialists assume the permanence of the social essence and structure of capitalist society. In objective terms, these forecasts are apologetic in character.


Materiafy XXIVs”ezda KPSS. Moscow, 1971.
Nauchnye osnovy ekonomicheskogo prognoza. Moscow, 1971.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.