Tuesday, February 07, 2006

US Economic Data Released, No One Understands It

The US Labor Department released its latest figures charting the state of the nation's economy. The Labor Department frequently releases data including the strength of the job markets, the Gross National Product, and net exports. Much of it is hard to understand for the average citizen, but this time, even the experts are confused. Whereas many economists frequently disagree about whether the numbers indicate strength or weakness in the US economy, this is the first time that economists couldn't understand it at all.

Professor Archibald Gray, professor of economics at Harvard University, is one of those baffled by the results. "I've gone over the report several times, including the indexes and appendix. I have consulted with the leading economists in both this country and throughout the world. And none of us have the slightest idea what it means. I mean, they said the stock structure index has increased fifteen points, and the deflation barometric curve has declined. I've never even heard of those."

The Federal Reserve invited several leading experts on macroeconomics and microeconomics to try to analyze the Labor Department's numbers. Yesterday, the head of the project announced their findings; nothing.

Stephen Owens stood before the reporters at a podium, flanked by hundreds of charts and graphs, and said, "We got jack. We found so many contradictions and confusing data that half of our team had to quit early from severe headaches. I'll admit, we've been through this sort of thing before. Usually, we can look at the numbers and make things up, but this time we're stumped."

The incident has caused sharp criticism and questioning of the entire field of economic forecasting. Many economists have announced their intention to retire and become television weather forecasters instead.

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