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Doubts creep in

April 19, 2004
They don't draw the right conclusions but at least some of them have been humbled a touch: "Economists' missed trends may indicate sea change" (Knight Ridder Tribune News): Whether it's policy gurus like Alan Greenspan at the Federal Reserve or academic theorists like free-trade champion Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University, economists are widely viewed as people who can divine where society needs to go and discern how to get there. But that blind faith has been shaken by recent trends that economists either missed or were wrong about. These include everything from the rise of outsourcing, the mammoth trade and federal deficits, and, perhaps most significantly, the drop in the dollar. "Why have economic forecasts missed the mark so much?" said economist Steve Morrell of Barry University in Miami Shores, Fla. "I don't have a good answer."

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