Over the past few weeks we've been posting a lot of new data on wine and spirits depletions in DrinkTell™. One of the areas many of the database's users will be looking at are changes in the forecasts. One of the most interesting and potential useful aspects of this is spotting the anomalies—calling out forecasts you didn't necessarily expect—or perhaps you did and wanted to see if someone else's forecast confirmed your suspicions.
Anomalies like these are like all puzzles. Sometimes we take them seriously; sometimes not so much. Remember, President Trump played swami and forecast GDP would grow 4%. Economists said no, 1.7% to 2.5%. Most acolytes of the dismal science said there were no production or demand factors to rationally predict more.
Researchers, of course, aren't either fortune tellers or politicians. In plotting the future, they stick to the known knowns. They may start with ongoing trends in demographics and consumer tastes. But then they move to other factors, including early, late, or non-existent agricultural crops; barrel shortages and glass shortages; currency fluctuations and politically instability.
If the numbers are doing their job, they reflect when one or more of these disrupters changes the pattern in either short of longer term trends. Often there's nothing. If you follow the line of a plodder like Canadian Whisky, you don't see too much-marginal shrinkage of overall depletions year after year. The story there is and has been that some brands (one really) have been doing better, the others worse.