It's early Autumn in the northern hemisphere and we are on the cusp of the forecast season. Europe and Washington are back in harness after the summer break, finance ministers are again caucusing, Spain and Greece are threatening (again), and the big late-year meetings of the IMF, World Bank and other talkfests are approaching. So spreadsheets are being updated, data getting crunched, soothsayers have been consulted and the runes cast.

From the IMF, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank etc, new prognostications appear for the rest of the current year and for the next year -- and if we are very lucky, for the one after that. Private firms and ratings agencies also give their crystal balls a buff and issue their outlooks.