For them they just watch the economy and "forecast" the changes as they occur. For Keynesians, it's about changes in animal spirits, for econometricians it is total data watching minus the animal howls.
A case in point is a report at CNBC on the view of Credit Suisse economist, Jonathan Basile:
“[The] bottom line is claims have been improving. The trend in layoffs is improving. That tells you firms are more optimistic about the outlook and they continue to lower the amount of cost cutting,” said Credit Suisse economist, Jonathan Basile.
While that’s a good sign, Basile said it may be some time before the trend can be trusted as signs of a sustainable jobs recovery.What is Basile doing here other than saying, "Well the numbers are going up, but this won't be confirmed until the numbers continue to go up."
Fed analysis is pretty much the same.
There is no analysis based on theory. Nothing like, "The Fed has increased the money supply by near 10% over the last year, so there is plenty of money in the economy to create a manipulated boom in the capital goods sector, reduce unemployment and ultimately result in major price inflation."
Only with such theory (Austrian Business Cycle Theory) can you understand the turns in the economy before they occur. That's why Paul Krugman, other Keynesians, and econometricians missed the current upturn. Their models don't understand the role of central bank printing. They, thus, become clueless data trackers that miss the start of manipulated booms and the start of crashes that are obvious to those using Austrian theory. See here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.