In Chapters V to IX we described the methods of forecasting general business conditions used by five well known professional forecasting agencies. It is not our purpose to pass judgment on the relative merits of these methods, or to draw any comparisons between their respective records as forecasters.
It is our judgment, however, that the purchase of one or more services is likely to prove a good investment for any business man who needs to make considerable commitments on the basis of his judgment of the trend of business, provided he does not follow them blindly, but uses them with an understanding of the methods which they use and an appreciation of their limitations. No matter how accurate a service may be in its forecasts, the special characteristics of one's own business and one's own locality must always be studied, as it is often the case that a forecast which is right for the country as a whole is worse than valueless as a guide to a particular individual because his business is an exception to the general trend. By constructing records of the growth of one's own business and checking them against the records of the forecasting services which have been chosen, one can frequently gain valuable information concerning the