The peso:dollar exchange rate may be higher or lower by December '06 than it is today. The Philippines' GDP growth for '06 may be higher or lower than it was in '05.Really, that's the only way to get it right. Say something people can really act on, and you may end up regreting it. Consider the case of Bernie Villegas:
Speaking before members of the Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (PamCham), Villegas, Senior Vice President of the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P), presented the strategic plan for Central Luzon, underscoring the need for the Philippines to familiarize itself of the "engines of growth" in the global community.
In his presentation, Villegas said the peso may end up at P55.6 to a dollar by the end of 2005. At the first quarter of the year, the local currency faired at about P55 to the US dollar, which presently shows up to be the strongest currency in the world.
In 2006, he said, a dollar would cost P56.5.
Yes, the same Bernie Villegas, famous "prophet of boom", who predicted a foreign market-powered growth in the 1970s, when the Philippines could still be called an "agricultural economy". However to be a reliable soothsayer, all your misses should be tracked, as well as all your hits. And if you bought dollars in '05, betting on Bernie's forecasts for '06, you're going to be weeping all the way to the bank.
List of good forecasting practices:
1. Don't. You can do this and still look smart. (It's an art.)
2. And if you can't (as often happens), qualify your forecast so that if someone acts on it, you get to cover your ass. (It's also an art, but requires greater skill.)
3. 'Fess up in style! See Brad Setser. Lots of people appreciate how frank he's been, in contrast to some soothsayers out there, whose sole concern is to crank out another set of wrong forecasts for the next year.