Why is it so hard to predict anything?
So hard that some people believe that ‘no prediction will ever be accurate’?

Which is simultaneously true and false!
First of all, it is a prediction.
Hence, it is supposed to be false.
But it’s true!

Then, if all predictions are going to be false, why bother?

Because sometimes it works.
Or, at least, it works good enough to be useful.

Hence this query.

Will economists ever be as good at forecasting as meteorologists?
I must thank Tim Harford for this excellent question.

No. For a very simple reason.

Meteorology has to do with physics. Something which doesn’t change as you learn more about it. Only the researcher’s understanding of what is going on goes deeper and deeper into the matter.

Economy has to do with both hard facts – how much coal/arable land is available at one moment, and psychological unknowns.
What people will do if/when….
The hard facts might change – just as meteorological data does. But in a rather foreseeable manner.
What people will do… is a lot harder to predict. Simply because people change their understanding of facts, based on what they learn.

Just as the meteorologists do.
And while it is relatively easy to predict that meteorology will become more and more accurate – for the foreseeable future, at least, it is a lot harder to predict what the meteorologists will do as a consequence of their increased abilities.

Specially when a lot of money is involved.