2008 vs 1992

Today’s chart porn (below) comes from the NYT: A Revival of 1992’s Glum Mood.

The current situation was summed up by David Leonhardt:

"Economists argue about the reasons for the great wage slowdown —
technology, globalization, health care costs, the decline of unions,
the rise of the new wealthy — but it clearly seems to have made people
feel more vulnerable to small economic swings. In the latest New York
Times/CBS News poll, only 19 percent of those responding said the
country was headed in the right direction. That was the lowest
percentage since the early 1990s.

This glumness is especially striking because perceptions of the
economy usually lag behind reality, and the reality hasn’t deteriorated
much yet for most families
. But as in 1992, said Alan Blinder, a former
vice chairman of the Federal Reserve, “people are more sour about the
economy than the data would seem to warrant." (emphasis added)

Leonhardt comes very close to resolving the conundrum, but alas,
he gets it wrong in the end. At the very least, he fails to consider an
alternative explanation: The measured economic readings — inflation, growth, unemployment, job creation, real income — are far less accurate than many people perceive them to be . . .


Courtesy of NYT


Economic Scene: A Revival of 1992’s Glum Mood
NYT, SECTION C – PAGE 1   January 16, 2008

Category: Data Analysis, Economy, Psychology

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