PREDICTING THE ECONOMY OF THE FUTURE
In the Western world, at least, there’s an almost palpable sense of public uncertainty, anxiety and discontent which might be attributed to a variety of causes.
Some ascribe it to specific issues, some to the over-reach and incompetence (or worse) of governments, and others to widening inequality between “the elites” and everyone else.
The view taken here is that the deteriorating public mood has a more straightforward explanation, which is that prior growth in economic prosperity has gone into reverse.
The cessation of growth and the onset of involuntary economic contraction are, of course, denied by governments, but this makes popular dissatisfaction worse.
If the economy as a whole is supposed to be growing, but the individual finds that his or her economic circumstances are deteriorating, it’s easy to assume that there must be some kind of bias in the system.
In fact, we don’t need to posit conspiracy theories, or look to ‘the machinations of the mighty’, to explain worsening hardship.
In short, the average person is getting poorer, and feeling less secure. He or she doesn’t like it, and is baffled and suspicious over official assurances that it isn’t happening at all.
Projection – the land of hazard
Forecasting involves entering territory ‘where angels fear to tread’. But the publication of projections has now become imperative, made so (a) by the rapid worsening in the public mood, and (b) by the incomprehension that continues to inform policy decisions.
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