Business Week's Fearless Forecasts For 2007

by: Barry Ritholtz

The Business Week forecasts are out, and -- whattayaknow -- I am not the low forecast this year!

This year, the online version did something very interesting: The entire list of 80 pundits is now built into a relational database, readily sortable by every category.

Its way cool -- all of the forecasts are sortable, by mid- and year end- forecast, asset allocation, index, etc. (Suggestion: Could we see this on one long page, instead of four?) It a much better way to present the information than a plain static page. (Hey, this interactivity thing is fun!)

Speaking of forecasting, as I discussed Tuesday, I was surprised at seriously people take these things. (I put little weight on forecasts). For the specifics as to why predictions are meaningless, I suggest you read The Folly of Forecasting.

Regardless, my thoughts on this were simple. The pre-correction rally we discussed last year for 2006 -- Dow 11,800, SPX 1,350, and Nasdaq 2620 --came to pass -- but not the correction itself. With the economy slowing, and coprorate profits at a record cyclical high, a revenue/profit slowdown remains a real possibility. (I would go so far as to say an increasing probability).

So the mid-year correction is built into my forecasts -- making me the 2nd lowest mid-year forecast, but the middle of the lower third for year's end.

click to enlarge

Somehow, this is seen as a capitulation, thanks to our friend and neighbor, selective perception.

Anyway, go play with the table -- its pretty cool.