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  In times of economic uncertainty - say, when war looms - we naturally want to know where things are headed. Economic forecasters say they have a good idea - that they can tell you with considerable accuracy which way the economy is headed. Is it more than guesswork - more than something you or I could do on our own? And while we often hear sweeping economic forecasts, we rarely find out or understand what really happened. Producer Richard Paul dissects the science of economic modeling and gives an update on how last year's economic predictions for the holiday season fared and what's in store for the coming year.
Photo: Times Square gets ready for Christmas shoppers  
Coming Soon

RSQE Forecasts
The University of Michigan's forecast for the US economy 2002 - 2004 and the Consumer Sentiment Index

Retail Forward
Check out Retail Forward's forecast for the Christmas 2002 shopping season.

Forecasting Models
An article by Scott Schuh - heard in this program - on evaluating recent forecasting models.

The Conference Board
The Conference Board's consumer confidence index and links to its leading economic indicators index, and articles on consumer confidence.

Macroeconomic Advisors

Larry Meyer - heard in this program - works with Macroeconomic Advisors.

Why We Buy- The Science of Shopping by Paco Underhill
In an effort to determine why people buy, Paco Underhill and his detailed-oriented band of retail researchers have camped out in stores over the course of 20 years, dedicating their lives to the "science of shopping."

A Companion to Economic Forecasting Editors: Michael P. Clememts and David F. Hendry
This book provides an accessible and comprehensive account of recent developments in economic forecasting.

Guns and Butter was produced by Richard Paul. This program was funded by the National Science Foundation. Research by Susan Morris. We would like to thank Diana Johnson, Dorothy Stucky and Edwanna Ware of the Washington, DC Department of Employment Services. President Bush Senior's address on Iraq came from the speech archive at The recordings of President Johnson came from the Lyndon Johnson library through