“PHILIPPINE ECONOMIC growth likely slowed in Q3,” blared a news headline about a forecast attributed to a large investment bank, just a few days before the official data came out—announcing the exact opposite. It can be hazardous indeed to make fearless forecasts on the economy, especially when released shortly before official data are due to come out. But then again, most financial institutions had actually predicted a slower third quarter, only to be proven wrong with the third-quarter data showing a surprising 7.1-percent surge instead. This is well beyond what was already considered a surprising 6.4-percent growth posted in the first quarter. Economics has never been a precise science, and not even the most sophisticated mathematical or statistical tools can help when there simply are too many unknowns in the equation.