You are browsing the archive for World Bank.

Economists Who Are Always ‘Surprised’ Should Re-Think Their Models and Assumptions

10:30 am in Uncategorized by dakine01

"RETHINK" by depone on flickr

"RETHINK" by depone on flickr

Author’s Note: Please take a few minutes and Join the Firedoglake Membership Program today. FDL provides the tools that help me and others extend our reach with our rants so we need to support FDL when we can.

Today’s report of Initial Unemployment Claims from last week is out and once again, the economists are “surprised” at the figures reported (via Reuters):

The number of Americans filing new claims for state unemployment aid rose unexpectedly to 428,000 in the week ended September 10 from a revised 417,000 in the prior week, the Labor Department said.

It was the second straight weekly increase and took initial claims to their highest level since the week ended June 25. Wall Street analysts expected a modest dip in new claims.

Once again, that is an upwards revision from the previously reported figure. I’m feeling a tad too lazy to go back through all my blog posts to find the last week when there wasn’t an upwards revision from the previous week’s report but I know that it has been months since there has been anything but upward revisions. At best there might have been a week when the numbers reported were not revised at all a couple of months ago but that’s it.

Realistically, I have to admit that the continual ‘surprise’ by the economists is just a continuation of the overall cluelessness shown by the financial elites as evidenced by this yesterday from the World Bank head (also via Reuters): Read the rest of this entry →

Sometimes I Hate It When I’m Right: Jobless Claims Jump Sharply

10:11 am in Economy, Financial Crisis, Government, Jobs, Media, Unemployment by dakine01

Last week when the Jobs Reports for December 2010 came out, I was a bit skeptical:

But you will pardon me if I’m a bit skeptical about this wonderful news. December is a time when there are a lot of short term hires due to the holiday season. I assume that ADP does make some adjustment for the seasonal factor and while 297K new jobs is definitely a good start, as I (and others) have noted recently, even if those jobs are something more than short term, minimum wage positions for the holidays, the odds are good that a lot of them are of the Perma-Temp fashion, with limited to no benefits. So I guess I’m going to hold off on the cheerleading the report.

Well, today (January 13) Initial Jobless Claims Report seems to bear out my skepticism. From CNN:

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — The number of Americans filing for their first week of unemployment benefits jumped sharply last week, two weeks after hitting a 2-1/2 year low below 400,000.

There were 445,000 initial jobless claims filed in the week ended Jan. 8, the Labor Department said in a weekly report Thursday.

That’s up 35,000 from a revised 410,000 the previous week — when jobless claims climbed back above 400,000 after falling below that mark for the first time in more than two years.

Last week’s rise was bigger than expected. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com had forecast initial claims to edge up to 415,000 in the latest report.

Of course, Economists were “surprised” at the news. What else is new. Economists are always surprised. I guess they missed the article from the AP yesterday (via MSNBC) that employers were posting fewer jobs in November.

Of course, the Federal Reserve is still in ostrich mode. From Reuters yesterday:

The Fed reported better conditions across all 12 of its districts, though banking and financial services showed results that varied by region.

“Economic activity continued to expand moderately from November through December,” the central bank said in a statement.

The findings were consistent with a recent pick-up in U.S. economic data that has prompted some economists to beef up their forecasts for growth in the first half of 2011.

The U.S. economy grew 2.6 percent in the third quarter, a level considered too meek to put a significant dent in the nation’s 9.4 percent jobless rate.

So things are getting better but not better enough to actually show any improvements in things. Yeah, that works.  . . . Read the rest of this entry →