Economists Blame Weather for Missed Forecast

(p. C8) Dozens of economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had correctly predicted a drop, but one that was far less severe – negative 0.2% compared with the actual 0.6% month-over-month decline.
But they weren’t bothered by the discrepancy, blaming it on the weather. While that sounds like executives on a conference call throwing up excuses for a “miss” following quarterly earnings, the weather really did play a role. November was unusually mild and utility output was 7.6% lower than a year earlier. Manufacturing, by contrast, rose nearly 1%.
The surprising thing is that this wasn’t anticipated. Since few of the economists surveyed live in balmy places like Florida, they somehow failed to notice that they didn’t have to put on a heavy coat or sweater last month when heading into their offices to crank out forecasts.

For the full story, see:
SPENCER JAKAB. “OVERHEARD.” The Wall Street Journal (Thurs., Dec 17, 2015): C8.
(Note: the online version of the story has the date Dec 16, 2015, and has the title “OVERHEARD; Economists Need to Get Out More.” The print version does not list an author. The wording of the two versions differs. The version quoted above is the online version.)

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