Mixing Indicators

Mixing Indicators

In a quick post this morning from Heisenberg on the data out this morning, a statement struck me square in the face

Quote: “Retail sales came in better than expected for December (even as some cohorts were revised lower for prior data), perhaps relieving some worries about the stability of the key pillar holding up the US economy at a time when business investment is subdued and C-suite confidence remains depressed.”

Heisenberg is one of the smartest financial bloggers I read, so I am not pointing a finger at his misuse of indicators – his was a summary statement, not a conclusion or inference of the data.

Here’s the problem – mixing indicators and trying to reconcile their inferences – Retail numbers are backward historical indicators; CFO confidence is a forward looking indicator. It’s no surprise they are not consistent. From an investment perspective, which direction do you want to review and analyze (i remember all the prospectus i read … historical performance is no guarantee of future performance). But all the C-suite people i worked with looked ahead and planned accordingly – …

So should we, i think.

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