The radio discussion today focused on the importance of forecasts and the forecast process in decision-making, particularly budgeting. Most of this related to various aspects of the forecasting and budgeting process at the state level in North Dakota and how it impacts other entities like UND. There was also some appropriate trashing of the forecasters that gave such erroneous predictions and then decide the state is in recession. I discussed some data which I want to make available here. There is more that will be put online as I get it created.
We had an active discussion in the last week regarding consumer opinion/sentiment and spending, the actual amounts they buy. Colleagues were surprised by my assertion that the relationship is not as well defined as many believe. Specifically, improvements in sentiment are essentially meaningless. They do not necessarily translate into changes in spending. The graph here shows the two.