Economic Forecast

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Teaching elementary age students is a lot of fun. They have a lot more energy than older students and most of them haven’t learned to hate learning yet. As an educator, there is nothing tougher than trying to work with students who have decided not to learn; particularly if I only see them twice a month, leaving little opportunity to gradually restore their desire.

As enjoyable as the children are, I find I need to talk to learners at higher levels as well. Fortunately, I have a few friends who are working hard on their English skills and I sometimes check in on their progress. One friend has intense interest in business, financial, investing, and political news from around the world. I think he is studying articles everyday in the Wall Street Journal, NY Times, Stratfor, Financial Times, and several other respected sites.

Looking over a couple articles he was studying today, I spotted something of amusement:

Perhaps the best sign of how difficult it is to know the economy’s direction is that, as a group, the nation’s professional forecasters have failed to predict all the recessions since the 1970s, according to data kept by the Philadelphia Fed. In the last 30 years, the average probability they put on the economy lapsing into recession has never risen above 50 percent – until the economy was already in a recession.

Picturing someone bumping the likelihood numbers from 40% to 60% after a recession has already commenced, makes me think about all the drivers who turn on their turn signal after they have already entered your lane.

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