Forecasting Business Conditions

By Charles O. Hardy; Garfield V. Cox | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VIII
MOODY'S INVESTORS SERVICE

Moody's Investors Service usually includes in its Monthly Analysis of Business Conditions a forecast of the course of general business activity. Occasionally, also, such a prediction appears in one of the Weekly Letters. In describing both the assumptions upon which the work of this service rests and the precise character of the methods of forecasting employed, one stands upon somewhat less certain ground than in the case of any of the organizations already considered. Each of the latter has upon various occasions given considerable space to the discussion of questions of method and the assumptions that underlie them. Moody's, on the other hand, has consistently maintained that what the client wants is a forecast and not a discourse on theory or technique. For example, a barometer of trade is published monthly for purposes of historical comparison, and from time to time some revision of its components has been announced, but at no time has there been published a full explanation of its construction. Concerning the interpretation of its behavior, however, the statements have been frequent and clear.

Moody's explanation of the business cycle is often given in psychological terms, and in this form it bears a family resemblance to the Babson theory:

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