Coincidences in reporting

Maybe I’m just being smug and possibly I’m trying to fight the impostor syndrome – but sometimes I simply like to take note of certain coincidences. As for example my comment of August 4th:

Given the experience of 2008, the USA is probably already back in a recession.

If you remember, there was talk about the possibility of slipping into a recession throughout 2008 – but it wasn’t until October or so that a “correction” of the economic indicators suddenly “unveiled” that the USA had been in a recession since November of 2007.

And an article of the Economist of August 25th:

America’s economy is certainly weak. It grew at an annualised rate of just 0.4% in the first quarter and 1.3% in the second. Future revisions may push both numbers into negative territory: the economy would have already double-dipped.

Now, I’m not deluding myself into thinking that that my comments have much of an impact on articles weeks later … but it’s certainly nice to see some vindication of my views. Before that, there had been virtually no admission of the unreliability (or perhaps systematic positive bias) of quarterly economic indicators. Not that I’m looking forward to a further worsening of the economy, but unfortunately I’m forced to merely watch it all unfold and my views have precious little influence on the outcome.

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