THE BABSON SERVICE
In this and the following four chapters we describe the work of five well known forecasting agencies, in so far as their work has to do with the prediction of changes in general business activity. We shall not give attention to various special services which these organizations render, such as the mapping of territory as promising or unpromising for special sales effort, analysis of speculative securities, business consultation, and other features which in some cases comprise the major portion of the service rendered. In other words, we shall describe the methods of forecasting general business activity employed by the services, but shall not fully describe the services themselves.
The services whose forecasting methods we describe are those of the Babson Statistical Organization, the Brookmire Economic Service, the Harvard Committee on Economic Research, the Standard Statistics Company, and Moody's Investors Service. These organizations have been selected on the ground that they are widely representative with respect both to clientele and to the methods of forecasting which they employ. The combined subscription lists of the five services total not far from 35,000, including individuals, firms, and corporations. Although in many cases the same name oc