Tags: federal reserve | u.s. economy | stocks
OPINION

Why Short-Term Data Is Misleading Policymakers

Why Short-Term Data Is Misleading Policymakers
(Silas Stein/AP)

Nigel Green By Wednesday, 10 July 2024 09:57 AM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

Something is becoming clearer and clearer, in my opinion: policymakers must prioritize understanding and adapting to enduring structural and long-term changes over the fleeting and often misleading fluctuations of short-term data.

In today’s shifting economic climate, traditional indicators frequently obscure more profound trends that have significant implications for policy design.

Fundamental Economic Transformations

Structural changes involve deep-seated alterations in the economic foundation, including shifts in demographics, technology, labor markets, and production methods.

For example, the digital revolution has transformed industries, altered employment patterns, and introduced new business models. These changes are profound and enduring, influencing economic functions and growth over extended periods, rather than merely over a few quarters or years.

The aging population in many developed nations exemplifies a demographic shift with substantial implications.

This trend affects workforce participation rates, healthcare expenditures, and pension systems. Policymakers need to account for these factors when crafting sustainable economic policies, rather than relying solely on short-term employment or GDP growth figures.

Tech: The New Economic Driver

Advances in tech continue to be a significant force shaping the global economy. Automation, artificial intelligence, and the gig economy are transforming traditional job markets and productivity metrics.

These innovations create new industries while displacing old ones, necessitating policies that support retraining and reskilling workers.

For effective policy design, it’s crucial to consider the long-term impact of technological changes. Policies should encourage innovation and provide support for those affected by technological disruptions. Short-term data on unemployment rates or productivity may not fully capture these shifts, necessitating a broader, forward-looking approach.

Globalization

The ongoing evolution of global supply chains is another structural change reshaping the world economy.

The pandemic exposed vulnerabilities in existing supply chains, prompting a re-evaluation of global trade practices. There’s now a growing trend toward regionalization and diversification of supply sources to enhance resilience and reduce dependence on any single region or country.

Policymakers need to acknowledge these changes when developing trade and industrial policies. While short-term trade data might indicate fluctuations, the underlying trend points toward a more interconnected yet regionally focused global trade environment.

As such, policies nurturing regional trade agreements and supporting local manufacturing capabilities will be crucial in this new era.

The Big Picture

Long-term trends, distinct from cyclical changes, represent enduring movements that persist over extended periods.

Climate change is an obvious long-term trend with profound economic implications. The transition to a low-carbon economy requires substantial investments in renewable energy, infrastructure, and technology. Policies, therefore, must support this transition, promoting sustainable growth and mitigating environmental impacts.

The rise of the service economy is another long-term trend influencing global economics. As economies mature, there is a shift from manufacturing to services, impacting employment patterns and productivity measures, meaning there must be a focus on enhancing service sector productivity and ensuring that labor market regulations keep pace with this transition.

Looking Beyond Volatile Data

Short-term economic data can distract from these deeper trends. Monthly job reports, quarterly GDP figures, and inflation rates are important, but they shouldn’t overshadow the significance of long-term structural changes.

The ongoing structural and long-term changes in the US and global economies are far more consequential for policy design than short-term, volatile data.

_______________
London-born Nigel Green is founder and CEO of deVere Group. Following in his father’s footstep, he entered the financial services industry as a young adult. After working in the sector for 15 years in London, he subsequently spent several years operating within the international space, before launching deVere in 2002 with a single office in Hong Kong. Today, deVere is one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organizations, doing business in 100 countries and with more than $12bn under advisement. It specializes global financial solutions to international, local mass affluent, and high-net-worth clients. In early 2017, it was announced that deVere would launch its own private bank. In addition, deVere also confirmed it has received its own investment banking license.

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NigelGreen
Something is becoming clearer and clearer, in my opinion: policymakers must prioritize understanding and adapting to enduring structural and long-term changes over the fleeting and often misleading fluctuations of short-term data.
federal reserve, u.s. economy, stocks
649
2024-57-10
Wednesday, 10 July 2024 09:57 AM
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