I’m going to start feeling better, or at least stop feeling worse, when I hear about the release of a major economic indicator that the economic forecasters hadn’t assumed — even after all the gloom and pessimism — would be better than it turned out to be. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not looking for ‘good’ numbers. I expect them all to be bad for some time to come. What continues to surprise me, however, is that even after we’ve gotten to an apparent consensus that we are in for a recession that is much more severe than anything we’ve endured in the post-war era, and even after six months in which each successive month looked worse than the last, that with each new number we’re still surprised that it’s even worse than we’d realized — still worse than the consensus assumptions.
Maybe we need better assumers before we can get out of this mess.