The recent jubilance among economic forecasters is enough to make even weather forecasters blush. “Just look at the bull market! Look at home prices! Look at consumer confidence!” I can understand the jubilation in the narrow sense that we’ve been down so long everything looks up. But prophecies can’t be self-fulfilling if they’re based on wishful thinking.
George W. Bush and his father share more than a last name. Reports show that August’s unemployment rate increased past the level initially forecast, rising to 6.1 percent. But even more disturbing is the fact that the misery index—unemployment aggregated with inflation—also soared to its highest level since 1991, when George H.W. Bush was in office.
Officials at the Federal Reserve are running out of creative ways to stave off a recession and expect the U.S. economy to slow to a crawl in 2008, with a growth rate of only 1.3 to 2 percent over the year.
A team of British scientists has developed a short-term, 10-year projection of the climate crisis—that’s short-term because most global-warming models work with centuries. And, yes, their findings indicate it will continue to get hotter through the next decade.