OLD Media Moves

Few economists in WSJ story on forecasting the economy

August 12, 2008

Hal Morris, writing on his Grumpy Editor blog, wants to know why there were only three economists in an article in today’s Wall Street Journal with the headline: “Economists expect 2008’s second half to be worse than the first.”

Wall Street JournalMorris writes, “Expecting to see input from a survey of 100 economists, or even 50, a close examination found economists from only three sources.

“Second paragraph from the end of the story inspired the headline with a senior economist at J. P. Morgan citing the effect of weak exports and then mentioning, ‘The bottom line is it’s going to be a weak second half.’

“Other input came from Goldman Sachs (unidentified) economists, who noted a contraction in consumer spending is likely over the second half and ‘the risk that foreign-demand weakness will wash back onto U.S. shores is clearly growing,’ and from a Global Insight economist who colorfully declared, ‘The air is coming out of the balloon pretty quickly here’ and ‘consumers are just throwing in the towel.’

“Also noted was declining recent activity at American Express Co., Talbots Inc., Kohl’s Corp. and Gap Inc.Â

“After reading the lengthy story, it’s almost like the WSJ seeks to curtail advertising from already shook-up businesses and sprinkle more alarm at consumers.”

Read more here.

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