How to Be An Economist

05/25/2011 12:30 pm ET

Guess what? After a month or so of better-than-expected US economic data, economists are feeling better about the economy.

Nine months ago, of course, economists were feeling great about the economy. In fact, they were in almost complete agreement that the future looked terrific. Then the economy began to crater, so economists began to feel worse about it. Two months ago, after seven godawful months, economists felt downright lousy about the economy and agreed that the future looked horrible. Now, after two surprisingly-not-terrible months, economists are feeling better about the economy and are not sure the future is so bleak.

So here's your crash course in how to be an economist:

*Analyze what has happened.
*Conclude that the future might be different...or it might be the same.
*Pick one!

(You think I'm kidding...)