US existing home sales down 27.2 percent in July versus analyst expectations of "only" a 12 percent decline.
Why do analysts even bother anymore? They missed it by more than a 100 percent!
UPDATE:> Forbes documents just how lame economic forecasting really is. But, it's not just forecasts. The fact is that historical economic data is often revised months or in some cases even years after the fact.
AND MORE:> Economist Greg Mankiw on the lamentable state of our economic models:
[T]he CEA took a conventional Keynesian-style macroeconomic model and used those set of equations to estimate the effect the stimulus should have had. Essentially, the model offers an estimate of the policy's effect, conditional on the model being a correct description of the world. But notice that this exercise is not really a measurement based on what actually occurred. Rather, the exercise is premised on the belief that the model is true, so no matter how bad the economy got, the inference is that it would have been even worse without the stimulus. Why? Because that is what the model says. The validity of the model itself is never questioned.