Tuesday 12 December 2017

The Punt: Return of economic forecasts is nigh

THE smoke must finally be starting to clear from the battlefield that is the Irish economy. How else to explain the return of the economists?

OK, they never really went away you know, but the Punt had noticed in recent years that, as a class, economists have been very happy to scrap over the "might have beens" of the past – the bank guarantee, the bailout, the Prom note etc – but quiet enough when it came to the real economy.

Now, as the fog of war clears, the dismal scientists are becoming a bit less shy about what we all know is their real first love – forecasting.

Jim Power was out of the traps this week, with what might prove to be a timely warning that some people are trying to talk up the property market.

Now we notice that Davy's economists in residence Conall MacCoille and David McNamara have launched a new Davy Economics Monthly, which we reckon will be pored over at home and abroad as we rattle over what is likely to be a still bumpy 2014.

We reckon it's a healthy sign if the boys in the good suits think the economy is finally becoming predictable again, after what has been, let's face it, a decade of mind boggling and wallet battering boom and bust.

Still, and no offence to them, we're sceptical enough when it comes to the crystal ball gazing skills of anyone, and economists make us especially nervous. After all, when it comes to economic forecasting there tends to be an uncomfortable element of putting your money where their mouth is.

Irish Independent

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