Ed Lazear Comments on Government Forecasts

Or, the self-rehabilitation effort continues. In a WSJ op-ed entitled “Government Forecasters Might as Well Use a Ouija Board”, he writes:

My analysis of 1999-2013 reveals that the CBO’s real GDP growth forecasts for the next year were off, on average, by 1.7 percentage points, either too high or low. Administration forecasts were similarly off by a slightly larger 1.8 percentage points on average, also to high or too low. Given that the average growth rate during this period was only 2.1%, errors of this magnitude are substantial.

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Wisconsin Employment: 108.6K below Trend Required to Hit Walker’s 250K Target

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development released without fanfare (well, there is no press release I see on the DWD media website as of 3pm CDT today) the last figures to be available before the election. They indicate September private nonfarm employment 108.6 thousands below the trend consistent with the Governor’s target (recommitted to a mere year ago) of 250 thousands net new jobs.

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Lower oil prices

For the last 3 years, European Brent has mostly traded in a range of $100-$120 with West Texas intermediate selling at a $5 to $20 discount. But in September Brent started moving below $100 and now stands at $90 a barrel, and the spread over U.S. domestic crude has narrowed. Here I take a look at some of the factors behind these developments.

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