UK Accounting Glossary
An economist is a professional in the field of economics, the social science that examines how individuals and societies use scarce resources. Another definition of what an economist studies is the production, distribution, and consumption of goods. In the investment world, an economist focuses on forecasting the overall direction of a nation’s economy and its various facets, including interest rates, GNP growth, inflation (or deflation), and exchange rates. The inability of an economist to perform this function with consistent success is captured in the witticism “An economist is someone who has predicted nine of the past five recessions.” Thus, rather than rely on the predictions of any single economist, investors tend to look to consensus economic forecasts in making investment decisions. A professional economist will usually have at least a masters and more likely a doctorate in the economics field. In the past few decades, advanced mathematics, computing, and statistics have assumed an increasing role in the work of an economist. An econometrician is an economist who specializes in using such methods in testing economic theory and relationships.
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This glossary post was last updated: 9th February 2020.