Wednesday 22 November 2017

The recovery has arrived - but nobody wants to say so

Stephen Byrne's illustration
Stephen Byrne's illustration
Brendan Keenan

Brendan Keenan

Back in the day, when things were still going well but people were starting to worry, some number cruncher discovered that one of the best ways to predict a recession was to count the number of times the word "recession" appeared in the media.

I wonder does it work the other way? Would the number of times "recovery" appears be a good guide as to whether recovery was really on the way? I suspect not.

Without actually trying to count, one has the impression that "recovery" is being used sparingly, in the media and elsewhere. Apart from anything else, commentators and analysts get into much more trouble for failing to forecast recession than they do for missing a recovery. Worry is always a more potent emotion than optimism.

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