Planning is “a systematic economic and rational way of making decisions today that will affect tomorrow”, then forecasting becomes an integral part of the planning process, specially, strategic planning which is long-range in nature.

Lyndall Unrwick defined forecasting as, “it is involved to some extent in every conceivable business decision. The man who starts a business is making an assessment of a future demand of its products. The man who determines a production programme for the next six months or twelve months is usually also basing it on SOIT).e calculation of future demand. The man, who engages staff, and particularly Young staff, usually has an eye to future organizational requirements.

Business forecasting refers to a systematic analysis of past and present conditions with the aim of drawing inferences about the future course of events. Louis Allen defines forecasting, as “a systematic attempt to probe the future by inference from known facts .”

Neter and Wasserman have defined forecasting as:

“Business forecasting refers to the statistical analysis of the past and current movement in the given time series so as to obtain clues about the future pattern of those movements.”