As I've noted before, macro is hard.
Now Loungani, with a colleague, Hites Ahir, has returned to the topic in the wake of the economic crisis. The record of failure remains impressive. There were 77 countries under consideration, and 49 of them were in recession in 2009. Economists – as reflected in the averages published in a report called Consensus Forecasts – had not called a single one of these recessions by April 2008. . . .
More astonishing still, when Loungani extends the deadline for forecasting a recession to September 2008, the consensus remained that not a single economy would fall into recession in 2009.