No, you’re not in trouble…

We’re just disappointed.  Atlas follows many indicators, and we try to provide some perspective on the various components of our economy once the data are released.  However, we do not get involved in providing specific forecasts because even the best predictors are wrong most of the time, so we avoid this alchemic-like endeavor.   Of course, this does not keep the hubris of others from making predictions, and there are a few indicators that track whether or not the economy is keeping up with these economists’ expectations.  Lately, the economy has disappointed the prognosticators.

According to data from Bloomberg, the economy is disappointing analyst more than at any time since 2009.  Their proprietary Bloomberg Economic Surprise Index is sitting at its lowest level since the Financial Crisis.  This means that the professional forecasters were too optimistic about the economy; their complicated models did not recognize the slowing pace of output and job creation.  Perhaps they will tweak their presumptions and get more correct next time.

What stands out to Atlas is the apparent deceleration versus the forecaster’s rosier glasses.  Any number of causes share responsibility for the loss of velocity, and in a complex system like our economy, we may never fully understand the reasons it has slowed.  With any luck, our economy is not in immediate trouble, but it has certainly disappointed many, including your crew here at Atlas.   (by C. Cox)