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Is DEED getting its economic forecasts from Dr. Pangloss?

Why bad news–55,000 jobs lost in Minnesota in 2008, roughly half of them in November and December alone–is really good news:

“State officials said the rate of job losses was so swift that the research firm Global Insight said that the economy might be bottoming out.”

That’s from Dee DePass’s story in today’s StarTribune. Thankfully, though, the paper’s editors have done away with the absurdist headline the piece originally bore (“Minnesota’s latest jobs report hints slide may be nearing bottom”). The basis for this rosy spin is forecast firm Global Insight’s prior projection that the economy would show its biggest job losses in the fourth quarter of ’08. But the fact that the rate of job loss increased so dramatically during the fourth quarter is a sign that Global Insight, like most forecasters, had it all wrong.

Seeing cause for optimism in what happened in the last three months of 2008 is like watching a disabled airplane plummet toward the ground and concluding this means it will arrive at the gate early. It’s nuts.

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Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Kris Jacobs on 01/23/2009 - 11:53 am.

    I don’t know who said it but it bears repeating:
    Economic forecasting is like trying to drive a car blindfolded, following directions given by a person who is looking out the back window.

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