It's been amusing over recent days to hear so many so-called economists predicting what just happened over three months ago, which is what happens every time "the latest" GDP figures are released.
Such is the dismal 'science' that is mainstream economics, they've only discovered this morning, at the end of June, what was happening to the economy from January to March. Turns out (according to Statistics NZ figures) the economy as measured by GDP shrank by 0.3% in what they call "the March quarter."
But as the latest newsletter from the Foundation for Economic Growth points out, weren't economists in 2007 predicting growth of 2% (plus or minus about 0.6%) for 2008? What happened to those predictions -- or indeed to any predictions made by mathematical economists? Turns out most of these predictions aren't worth the paper their invoices are printed on.
Frankly, they got their predictions completely wrong. As they usually do. Which means, just to summarise the position with respect to the profession on this particular news: they didn't know before the event what would happen, they didn't know at the time what was happening, and now it has happened they're not quite sure exactly why it did.
No wonder most economists are held in deservedly low favour. Give one a kick if you see one out loose in the wild.