This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, February 9, 2015:
Nearly everyone has an opinion about forecasting and its dangers. Some, like Yogi Berra, will tell you, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” Others, like John Kenneth Galbraith, will say, “The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable.” Still others will warn about setting either the exact event, or its timing. Do either one, they say, but not both.
Apparently the forecasters enlisted by the Wall Street Journal last week to give their best estimates of growth in China weren’t listening, or didn’t care. Or perhaps they believe in Keynesian miracles alongside those of the Tooth Fairy.
Nevertheless, when asked about import and export growth in China for the month of January, they missed reality by a country mile. The Journal tallied up the results and their seers and prognosticators concluded that