I will admit to being unimpressed when the NBER came out and declared that we have been in a recession since last December. There are two reasons for that:
- I don’t think the question of being in a recession or not is important. I would rather spend time analyzing industry prospects, because often the effects differ across sectors and industries.
- I would rather see them give us a quicker result, and then adjust it if they prove wrong. Personally, I don’t buy the idea that if they declare a recession, that it will push us into a recession. The average person doesn’t care all that much about what economists say — they look at their own prospects.
So, while I was driving on Tuesday, I happened to hear this piece from Dave Ross of CBS Radio twice. The local affiliate, WTOP, usually only plays it once, but they liked this one so much that they played it a couple of times. I don’t normally do multimedia — I prefer reading, because you can get information faster than through audio or video, so this is a rare case where I link to an audio file.
Maybe the government should outsource the whole thing to ECRI, which has an admirable record in predicting the business cycle, and with better timing. As it is, they are projecting a deep recession, and we should listen. They are rarely wrong.
I listen to ECRI. I don’t listen to the NBER. Dave Ross, he’s a funny guy.