The U of O's Oregon Index of Economic Indicators rose 2.7 percent in December, continuing a rise that began in September. This is a sign that the economy is picking up some momentum (and momentum is an appropriate word as feedback loops are very important in this process) which can be sustained with any luck.
But spare a thought for poor Tim Duy, author of the index: whenever I speak to reporters my first thought is to at all costs avoid saying something dumb that shall be memorialized for all posterity in print. I don't always succeed. But I have never suffered the ignominy of having a dumb quote put in bold type and placed above the article as the Oregonian did to poor Tim.
"I'm much more optimistic than I would have been three months ago."
It is too bad he wasn't alive three months ago to know his optimism level! I assume he meant either that his is more optimistic now than three months ago, or that he is more optimistic now than he would have been if the index had shown a 2.7% improvement three months ago. This could easily be the fault of a reporter taking a quote out of context (for example the real quote could have continued "...if the index had risen 2.7% then") but the cringe inducing result is the same.
Of course I blog which means that I have now made a hobby of making public and preserving my words for all the world to dissect and make fun of - which has been one of the hardest things to adjust to. I am used to crafting research papers for months and even years so that every sentence is precise and correct. Blogging is the complete opposite and has forced me to become comfortable with thinking aloud in public.
Not an easy thing for an academic to do.