Sunday, January 1, 2012

In the Economy It’s Still 2011

We never see how the sun looks right now. Even when staring through a telescope with the appropriate filters, what we see right now is how the sun looked 8 minutes and 20 seconds ago—because it takes that long for light to travel 93 million miles. New Years day would be the ideal time to put up some numbers to show how our economy performed in 2011, but economies are extremely vast structures, thus by analogy similar to the sun and—given the time it takes to take measurements and to translate them into useful statistics—at least as far away. Right now we have some preliminary numbers for the way the economy performed in November of 2011. So far as our eyesight of that year’s concerned, December hasn’t happened yet. The first early indicators for employment in that month will issue on January 7, a week away. And those will be preliminary too, with November data probably changed. In effect it turns out that the sun is closer to us than the economy. Eight minutes is pretty good compared to a week for the first ever glimpse of 2011.

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