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This news article was originally written in Spanish. It has been automatically translated for your convenience. Reasonable efforts have been made to provide an accurate translation, however, no automated translation is perfect nor is it intended to replace a human translator. The original article in Spanish can be viewed at Mis optimistas previsiones

My optimistic forecasts

Albert Esteves, editor of Interempresas10/02/2009

February 10, 2009

"The best way to predict the future is to invent it", alan kay.

It was the month of March of 2007 when the International Monetary Fund, directed then by Don Rodrigo de Rato y Figaredo, published its forecasts for 2008 relating to Spain. Then claimed the brainy economists of the prestigious agency regulator to Spanish economic growth would increase this year a strong 3.5%. A few months later, in October 2007, the same accredited entity, to whose leadership had agreed a month before the famous Professor of Economics at the University of Nancy, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, lower cautiously forecasting to reasonable 2.7%. In this we were when it started 2008 and the evolution of the real economy did not portend anything good. So the savvy econometricians from the IMF, always attentive to the actual evolution of the macroeconomic magnitudes, adjusted their predictive models to deem that the Spanish economy was only going to grow a modest 1.8% in April. Alarm against this background, the economic agents in the presence sensed that they painted bastos and decided to start undoing positions. And already in full outbreak of the financial bubble, newly started the month of October, acute analysts of the IMF realized once more than that the results of his equations did not correspond with the common sense mere and, by appealing to the saying that is wise, where told say, 1.4 said. And stayed as wide. December 31, that Yes as expected, is over 2008. And a few weeks later we learned that this year Spanish economic growth, in fact, had increased only anemic 1.1%.

Smooth and flat, the influential Oracle of the International Monetary Fund had erred your prediction for 2008, made in March of the previous year, in a 68%! That Yes, retaining unabated its prestige, its authority, and its credit to continue to make predictions for 2009 and 2010. And to continue to show us his wisdom-based go rectifying once reality to strive in not wanting to conform to their econometric models. It is known that, for economists, real life is just a particular case.

All this would not have greater importance if it were not for this kind of predictions, along with that make so many other Government and academic agencies, or those issued by financial institutions themselves, just having a significant influence on the behavior of the various economic agents. It would be logical to ask what are their predictions if they hardly ever get, and most of time, not even approaching, or what is what gives them more prominence than those carried out by a sociologist, a historian or even an astrologer. And it is, without doubt, their ability to influence. An influence that does not correlate at all with the degree of success.

On January 28, 2009 the International Monetary Fund published its predictions for Spain and predicts a contraction of 1.9 per cent and 0.1 for this year 2010. Does this have any value? Predictive, none. So just in that it can influence the decision-making of entrepreneurs, consumers and Governments. Why Devils strive therefore continue to make catastrophic predictions as much in advance? Why not learn of meteorologists and are limited to tell us that it will happen in the short term? Why not recognize that their forecasts are both value and that can make you or I only relying of intuition or common sense?

Well gentlemen, looking for the delicate balance between the pessimism of the intelligence and the optimism of the will, I decided to get me wet and I also make my prediction. HeLa here: I think this year the Spanish economy will shrink little more than 1.5%, with a brutal fall in the first quarter and clear signs of improvement in the fourth. And in 2010 we will recover the path of growth by at least 2%. It is written. I bet a pea to that I believe less than distinguished economists of the IMF. But if I do, I assure you that, unlike them, I recognize, I disculparé and will certainly make predictions.

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