Economic Forecasting

V-, L-, or U-shaped recovery? Economists run out of letters to describe their forecasts.

Chief economists are looking for someone with GCSE Art to help interpret the shape of their forecasts, so people know exactly what kind of economic recovery to expect in 2020. “U-shaped”, “V-shaped” and “L-shaped” curves have all been speculated in recent weeks, but it turns out none of them are very accurate, so the public are left in the dark as to how we shall fare.

Economists have faced increasing pressure to communicate more clearly with the public in recent years, especially as most people think they’re entitled fools who are as good at making predictions as Game of Thrones fans.

“We considered adding new letters to the English Language to help our messaging, but Webster’s dictionary told us to piss off,” a spokesperson for a major investment bank told me. “The traditional letter shapes just don’t cut it anymore, so hiring someone experienced in convincing the public that a random shape resembles something else should prove invaluable. Hurray for artists!”

A graph of UK output between 2008 and 2015 has now been referred to as “somewhere between a drunk horse and the outline of Jeremy Corbyn’s beard”, and the public is furious such excellent analysis has only just been introduced. The Cheese Grater has no doubt this represents a new dawn for relations between forecasters and the wider public. For economic pundits, the only way is up (and down a bit, then up a bit).