The Economy: Those Static Statistics

Major Government and business forecasts of the nation's year-to-year growth have been wrong by 30% to 40% since 1947. Reason: shaky projections based on shoddy statistics. This disconcerting report came last week from the privately financed National Bureau of Economic Research, and it further darkened the shadow of doubt that hovers over many of the indicators used by businessmen to reach their decisions to spend, lend or cut back.

The Government spends $100 million a year to find and refine the modern statistics that measure where U.S. business stands and is likely to...

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