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It would be interesting to hear what IBEC has to say about this… January 30, 2013

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Economy, Irish Politics.
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…The Central Bank has revised downwards its growth projections for this year on the basis of a less favourable international outlook.

In its first quarterly bulletin of the year, the bank’s economists predicted that gross domestic product would grow by 1.3 per cent in 2013, lower than the 1.7 per cent forecast three months ago.

Given that only eight days ago IBEC predicted this:

The Irish economy will grow by 1.8 per cent this year up from 1.2 per cent in 2012, the Irish Business and Employers Confederation has predicted.
In its latest Quarterly Economic Outlook, the employers’ group said it expects to see a “turning point” for the Irish economy during 2013. The group predicts economic growth of 1.8 per cent over the course of the year, slightly higher than the latest Government forecasts.

Seems scepticism about the IBEC figures is well founded.

And in relation to those IBEC figrues this comment from Michael Taft on this thread is illuminating:

It’s a little curious that the IBEC projections received a ‘good news’ treatment. They now project consumer spending will grow by 0 percent this year. Three months ago they projected that consumer spending would rise by 0 percent. When it comes to GDP projection, IBEC now estimates 1.8 percent growth. Three months ago they projected 1.8 percent growth. Six months ago they projected growth of 2.3 percent. Nine months ago they projected growth of 2.4 percent. I guess a projection that doesn’t have a revision downwards constitutes ‘good news’.

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1. 6to5against - January 30, 2013

Presumably, the IBEC projections were just another attempt to conjure up the confidence fairy. A little like the ephmeral pre-Xmas sales ‘surge’.

Its fair enough that bodies like IBEC and ISME should attempt to influence the public discourse by putting their own spin on things. They are, after all, lobby groups for particular interests. Its a little worrying when they clearly distort the truth as they try to push their agenda but, then again, what would you expect.

The worrying thing is how the media report their projections/opinions/fantasies as if they were fact, and treat their reports as if they were well substantiated and backed by research.

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CMK - January 30, 2013

Retail sales in December 2012 were down 0.1% according to the CSO yesterday (can’t paste a link for some reason but it’s on the CSO homepage under ‘Latest releases – 28 Jan.’

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2. CL - January 30, 2013

The spurious precision of these figures,-1.3%, 1.8%,or whatever,-is designed to connote a scientific accuracy unwarranted by the psuedo-scientific macroeconomics on which the projections are based.

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Anonist - January 31, 2013

Yup. I used to think they they must be either stupid or being ‘economical with the truth’. But they manage to do both simultaneously.

Their models are repeatedly shown to have less predictive power than a hank of seaweed hanging on a nail in the barn. But above all 90% of jobbing ‘economists’ are lying bastards who have sold themselves to the highest bidder. And 90% of journalists know no better than to nod sagely and take this nonsense seriously.

My fellow humans, we are in a deeply fucked up state.

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3. 6to5against - January 30, 2013

Good point CL, and an aspect that is often forgotten is that not only are the projections based on little more than back-of-envelope calculations, but the actual figures for GNP, GDP etc are themselves hard to calculate meaningfully even after the event. This is presumably why they are constantly being revised and re-revised.

Weather forecasters can at least know with some certainty what the weather was like yesterday and yet they are quite honest about how weak a lot of their forecasts can be.

Economists are rarely so honest

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4. ejh - January 30, 2013

I guess a projection that doesn’t have a revision downwards constitutes ‘good news’.

Actually it’d be Good News in the Gospel sense, because as far as I can see it’s an unprecedented event.

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5. Forbolg - January 31, 2013

Sorry but why the surprise. They will always say whatever is in their interest. It’s really not worth the head space.

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