ECONOMIC INDICATORS: Their Accuracy Can Be Improved

ECONOMIC INDICATORS Their Accuracy Can Be Improved

THE fall-off in business is emphasizing a question that has long bothered economists: How accurate are the dozen or more key statistics generally used to show the health of the U.S. economy? Last week the steel industry decided that its closely watched production measure (i.e. the operating rate compared to overall capacity) is an unreliable guide for the unwary because 1) capacity is constantly increasing, and 2) the capacity total is arbitrarily set each January instead of being increased as capacity grows. Thus last week's estimated production of...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!