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A Comedy Of IMF Forecasting Errors: Global Trade Growth Tumbles More Than 50% From IMF's 2012 Prediction

Tyler Durden's picture


The comedy of errors that are IMF forecasts is well known: it was covered most recently in "Hilarious Charts Of The Day: IMF's "Growth Forecasts" Over Time." Moments ago we got the IMF's first forecast update for 2014 which also included the Fund's first 2015 forecasts for growth around the world. Not surprisingly, they were largely higher across the board except for China which has seen its 2014 projected GDP growth collapse from 8.5% a year ago to 7.5% now, and is expected to drop modestly to 7.3% in 2015. The charts showing the progression of said hilarious forecasts are shown in their entirety below, about which one thing can be said with certainty: whatever the GDP growth rate in the world is in 2014 and 2015 it will be anything but what the IMF predicts it to be.

But perhaps the most notable feature of today's set of numbers is the IMF's forecast of world trade. In a word: it is crashing. Consider that 2013 world trade was expected to grow by 5.6% in April 2012. Now: it is more than 50% lower at just 2.7%!

Yet what is truly hilarious and certainly head scratching, is that somehow the IMF now anticipates a pick up in global growth in 2014 from its previous forecast of 3.6% to 3.7%, even as global trade is revised lower once more to the lowest prediction for 2014, and currently stands at just 4.5% compared to 4.9% in October 2013 and 5.5% a year ago (it goes without saying that the final global trade number for 2014 will be well lower than the IMF's optimistic forecast).

How global GDP is expected to grow on the margin compared to previous forecasts even as trade contracts is anyone's guess...

Behold the IMF's revision to global growth forecasts: how does one spell error bars.

And here are the GDP growth forecasts for the rest of the world.





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Tue, 01/21/2014 - 11:35 | 4351574 pods
pods's picture

Missed it by >< much!


Tue, 01/21/2014 - 11:38 | 4351585 Millivanilli
Millivanilli's picture

We're dealing with professionals...  However, the rich have gotten much richer while the poor have gotten much poorer and representative democracy has become much weaker.   





Tue, 01/21/2014 - 11:49 | 4351599 nope-1004
nope-1004's picture

If the "trend is your friend", and being out by 50% is merely an oversight, then the day is coming where they will be out by 100%.  Guaranteed.

Stupid idiots.

There are are a few things glaringly clear to me at this point:

Stocks must go up.

EUR/USD target is 1.3

Gold must be capped at 1250

TNX must not go over 3%

Inflation and unemployment manipufuckated to the masses at any number

TBTF banks are insolvent / ZIRP forever until default

Coutnerparty risk at all time highs.


Good luck gambling......


Tue, 01/21/2014 - 11:56 | 4351634 Manthong
Manthong's picture

..global trade, global schmade -

everything you perceive in the alleged "market" is a managed illusion.

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 12:16 | 4351692 TeamDepends
TeamDepends's picture

Being half right is a good day for the Keynesians, and your money well spent.

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 12:25 | 4351726 Eeyores Enigma
Eeyores Enigma's picture

As long as someone keeps announcing that "growth is just about to take off" people will continue to position themselves to jump on that train and rake it in.

Unfortunately (read by design) most will either jump to soon or be pushed and get run over instead.

Come on step right up...you there...yeah you....are you man enough to give it a go?

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 11:57 | 4351639 slotmouth
slotmouth's picture

I've got my money on Beatrix Kiddo.

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 12:20 | 4351699 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

When fraud is the game, possession is the rule!

I took my marbles and went home.

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 13:01 | 4351828 NIHILIST CIPHER

KLINK      Me too !    Just can't play in a rigged casino no mo. Farging IMF can suck it.

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 12:22 | 4351712 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

your "EUR/USD target is 1.3" forecast reminds me how everybody and his grandmother was predicting parity. for years. soonish. just saying

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 12:28 | 4351732 nope-1004
nope-1004's picture

Not my target.  Look at the chart over the last 2 years.


Tue, 01/21/2014 - 12:33 | 4351752 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

then I'm confused. I though you wrote "EUR/USD target is 1.3"

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 13:13 | 4351870 nope-1004
nope-1004's picture

No worries... I will clarify.

In a manipulated economy run by CB's, what is clear to me is that THEIR target is EUR/USD = 1.3.

I don't issue trade recommendations to gamblers.

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 12:46 | 4351783 Loucleve
Loucleve's picture

Not to worry.

Yellen will be calling momentarily to threaten them that if they dont revise the forecast higher, well, she'll damn well do something about it.

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 11:51 | 4351624 PrecipiceWatching
PrecipiceWatching's picture

The clumsy, broad brush, and continual Class Warfare meme on this site is nauseating.

By most metrics I would be considered "rich", though not in the Occupy Idiots hugely and unjustifiably over publicized 1%, and certainly not in the rarefied air of the 0.1%.

Aside from normal debt service, by any fiscal measure I have not gotten wealthier whatsoever in the past 5 years.


Tue, 01/21/2014 - 11:55 | 4351632 Millivanilli
Millivanilli's picture

We aren't talking about class warfare, we are talking about class genocide.   Guess you missed the little peice on how the wealthiest 85 people on the planet own as much wealth as the bottom 3.5 billion.  


Tue, 01/21/2014 - 12:26 | 4351651 PrecipiceWatching
PrecipiceWatching's picture

So you are limiting your condemnation of the "rich" to 85 individuals?

Entirely different story.


However, throwing out the "rich" adjective encompasses a LOT of very hard working, earnest and conscientiously honest individuals.

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 12:31 | 4351743 MarsInScorpio
MarsInScorpio's picture


It is obvious you don't have the faintest idea what it means to be "rich."

My father always laughed that Americans think they are "rich." Guys like you are exactly who he was laughing at.

Rich is: You NEVER check to see if you have the money to get whatever you want; you are not a wage slave - if you work at all, it is totally of your own choosing (a la the Kennedys); you have a security detail; your automobile/SUV is armored; you live behind guarded gates; you have plenty of land for your estate house; you don't pump your own gas; you travel on your private aircraft; you only spend your time with people you can use for some goal of yours; your money is spread worldwide; you have a significant stash of PMs; if you live in NYC, and decide to dine in Rio tomorrow, you tell your personal assistant to collect your items for travel and notify the pilot to file a flight plan; you don't even consider the cost . . .

That is what is meant by rich. And you are nowhere near it.



Tue, 01/21/2014 - 14:29 | 4352233 PrecipiceWatching
PrecipiceWatching's picture

Semantics.  Your limited definition of "rich" is irrelevant.


The salient point that YOU are missing, is that the Statists in power have a very broad definition of "rich" which likely encompasses you and your assets; surely in their crosshairs for harvesting.

Your ignorance of that fact, and those here reflexively tossing out attacks on the "rich", means that you are very much part of the problem.

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 12:37 | 4351730 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

the real tragedy of that factoid is not that those 85 are so rich. it's that the bottom 3.5 billions are so poor. we are talking about poverty in the sense of having nothing and making two dollars a day - on a good day. check the numbers and you'll see

don't confuse how the American Middle Class is shrinking with how the Global Middle Class is... growing. by the hundreds of millions

no, not making a "globalist" case. just pointing to facts. expanding free trade is like increasing the size of a pond by linking is to another one. goldfishes adjust their size to this change, meanwhile the rest of the flora and fauna of said original pond... might experience different results. at the end, this is simply an application of the Pareto Law

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 12:17 | 4351687 NIHILIST CIPHER

So, it's ok with you that a handful of people own most of the wealth in the world and the middle class is being hammered down to serfdom?  PC  you ain't in the club son.

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 12:22 | 4351710 PrecipiceWatching
PrecipiceWatching's picture

Well "son", the current Communist Administration likely considers you "rich", so you bomb throwers ought to be a bit more circumspect and exacting with your attacking terminology.

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 12:38 | 4351761 MarsInScorpio
MarsInScorpio's picture


You don't get it - the current admin works to achieve the goals of the oligarchs - who are the rich I described above.

The servants of these oligarchs aren't going to do anything to get the money of the oligarchs; if they tried, they would be liquidated. The oligarchs play for keeps, and gross criminality is their MO.

Your concept of reality is akin to asking a color-blind person "What color are the Golden Arches at McDonald’s?"

The color-blind says, "Gray."

From the color-blind's perception of reality, he is correct. But the truth - the reality - is that they are yellow.

His perception is wrong, therefore his concept of reality is wrong.

You, in the sense of how the world works, are color-blind.


Tue, 01/21/2014 - 14:33 | 4352257 PrecipiceWatching
PrecipiceWatching's picture

Ad hominem nonsense.  Mostly.

I'll stick to my own observations and experience on "how the world works", rather than a bunch of lecturing, condescending crapola. 

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 11:36 | 4351578 Stoploss
Stoploss's picture

Perfect.  Let them run everything..


Ignernt Mutha Fucka's...........

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 11:36 | 4351581 thatthingcanfly
thatthingcanfly's picture

You didn't grow that.

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 11:40 | 4351582 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

How does anyone with a plus or minus 50% accuracy rating keep their fucking job?

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 11:41 | 4351592 Calculus99
Calculus99's picture

Because it's not about 'accuracy' it's about telling the people/politicians what they want to hear. Therefore triples all around!

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 11:45 | 4351608 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

Economist goes out duck hunting with some friends.  First shot he misses a duck 10 feet to the left.  Second shot he misses 10 feet to the right.  "Bullseye!" he shouts.

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 11:41 | 4351594 pods
pods's picture

It is in their job descriptions that their primary responsibility is to make weatherman and global warming modelers look good.


Tue, 01/21/2014 - 11:41 | 4351596 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

It's a science....until it isn't.

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 11:45 | 4351611 101 years and c...
101 years and counting's picture

has the IMF or any central printer..i mean central bank ever forecasted a recession?

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 11:49 | 4351621 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

They're the Witch Doctors and Shaman of the modern age.  No clue what's really going on, but everyone consults with them and holds their predictions as sacred, like when they used to read the entrails of a sacrificed animal.

And if they had any humility AT ALL they would be very forthright about their limitations.  But no.  They much prefer to be worshipped.


Tue, 01/21/2014 - 11:43 | 4351597 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

They don't care about accuracy. It's all about how well the can sell the propaganda.

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 11:43 | 4351598 i_call_you_my_base
i_call_you_my_base's picture

Confidence of plus or minus 75%.

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 11:45 | 4351606 superflex
superflex's picture

I dunno.

Go ask a weatherman.

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 11:45 | 4351609 PrecipiceWatching
PrecipiceWatching's picture

Lazy Academia, Media shitheads, Politician scum are among the "professions" that come to mind, also enjoying an abysmal lack of accountability.

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 11:45 | 4351610 Disenchanted
Disenchanted's picture

re: "How does anyone with a plus or minus 50% accuracy rating keep their fucking job?"

Nepotism(or a form of)? Patronage? or a combination...

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 11:44 | 4351603 Australian Economist
Australian Economist's picture

What about the IMF forecast for UK growth, didn't they just upgrade that?


Is the UK on the road to recovery or false dawn?

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 12:09 | 4351670 smacker
smacker's picture

You're right, the IMF have just upgraded 2014 growth forecast for the UK.

Sadly, neither the IMF nor the British Chancellor nor anybody else inside the Ministry of Make-Believe are prepared to explain how the UK can achieve such growth levels when its two main trading partners are mired in deep doo-doo, UK wages are under severe pressure and interest rates for savers are at virtually zero.

The truth behind UK growth is that it comprises consumer spending - funded by more debt and savings withdrawals - and a manipulated rise in paper property values, some of which is being extracted by remortgaging and spending.

There is virtually no growth in genuine economic activity: manufacturing, exports etc. All that matters to the Cameron coalition is that this fake growth lasts long enough for them to be re-elected in 2015.

MSM are doing their duty in bigging up the economy.

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 14:56 | 4352355 Australian Economist
Australian Economist's picture

Thanks. You said exactly what I thought, but was too lazy to type out.

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 12:18 | 4351605 JustObserving
JustObserving's picture

How global GDP is expected to grow on the margin compared to previous forecasts even as trade contracts is anyone's guess..

No need to guess.  Just fake the inflation numbers and, voila, you have GDP growth.  The US has been doing it for decades.  If you adjusted US GDP for real inflation for the last two decades, GDP is only about $6 to $7 trillion instead of the official $16 trillion.

Of course, we will also goose the GDP by other means as we did on July 1, 2013 (by $500 billion).

The US economy will officially become 3 per cent bigger in July as part of a shake-up that will see government statistics take into account 21st century components such as film royalties and spending on research and development.


Who needs real trade when fictional statistics are so easy? Reality is so overrated.



Tue, 01/21/2014 - 11:54 | 4351626 oddjob
oddjob's picture

Dinner in Kabul for them all.

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 11:52 | 4351629 hugovanderbubble
hugovanderbubble's picture

Long VIX Long VIX Long VIX till eternity

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 11:54 | 4351631 no more banksters
no more banksters's picture

IMF new tactics: It is better to appear unreliable than to let people understand that you serve specific interests


Tue, 01/21/2014 - 11:58 | 4351642 Smegley Wanxalot
Smegley Wanxalot's picture

Trade Down + Total Value Of Transactions Up


Tue, 01/21/2014 - 12:03 | 4351655 americanspirit
americanspirit's picture

Its those damn tanning parlors - they fry the brain. Little fried monkey brains have a hard time with simple math.

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 12:05 | 4351661 gaoptimize
gaoptimize's picture

I guess their forecast was dated before the Baltic Dry Index began it's collapse.

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 12:07 | 4351664 John Law Lives
John Law Lives's picture

"How global GDP is expected to grow on the margin compared to previous forecasts even as trade contracts is anyone's guess..."

That's easy.  Someone will come up with a new formula for how global GDP is calculated.  Voilà!


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