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#222. The Forecast Project

#222. The Forecast Project

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.

In fact, we don’t need to posit conspiracy theories, or look to ‘the machinations of the mighty’, to explain worsening hardship.

The simpler reality, hidden in plain sight, is that the prosperity of the average person is eroding and so, at the same time, is his or her sense of economic security. Efforts to use financial innovation at the macroeconomic level to stave off this trend have failed, driving people ever deeper into the coils of debt and other financial commitments.

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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