|Sat, 31 Jan 2004 15:53:40 +1300
I was reading a paper a few weeks ago that posited that pessimism was the new ideology of the West, and has flow- on effects to all areas of one's life. Like one is stuck in a malevolent universe being stuck with voodoo doll pins. Certainly optimism is desperately unfashionable. Pessimism has been elevated from a subjective emotional state to a leading economic indicator.Self-indulgent negativity? Old Testament brain stems perhaps?
Meanwhile, as economist James Picerno says, there's no shortage of economists with generally upbeat interpretations of the recent US GDP number. "The economy showed a solid performance in the fourth quarter, suggesting the economy is building momentum and is well-positioned for further growth despite the slowdown from the third-quarter's surge," Lynn Reaser, chief economist at Bank of America . And Stuart Hoffman, chief economist with PNC Financial Services Group, reminds via The Washinton Post that the latest GDP report plus its predecessor add up to "the two best back-to-back quarters we've seen in the economy in a number of years."