The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.
Forecasts about the future for the euro zone economy are starting to resemble a multiple-choice novel. Are you an economist working for an Anglo-Saxon institution? Then turn to p.65 -- "Recession for the euro zone". A German bank? Go to p.80 -- "Happy days are here again!"
At a meeting of the National Association for Business Economics in Dallas, discussions on the economic outlook turned so gloomy at one point that a well-known economist was heard to say he’s inclined to sell everything and “just buy a gun.”
What do an eight-legged creature in an aquarium in Germany and 74 economists have in common? The consensus view that Spain would claim the World Cup -- until the economists, as they so often do, changed their minds.
from Shop Talk:
Check out the better-than-expected results being served up by food companies.
Chocolate maker Hershey posted a quarterly profit above analysts' expectations, said it was on target to meet its 2010 earnings forecast and boosted its dividend. The company also said it would boost advertising to try to sell more candy, including Almond Joy and York peppermint patties.
from Shop Talk:
Check out Estee Lauder's much better-than-expected end to 2009.
The cosmetics maker said fiscal second-quarter results, due next week, will fly past its forecast and Wall Street's predictions. Sound familiar? That's because the company did the same thing back in October, before it released results for the first quarter of its fiscal year.