The U.S. economy is still sick. It will not be cured until (if and when) the current regulatory onslaught emanating from Washington, D.C. is not just slowed, but rolled back. The U.S. needs business climate change. Continue Reading →
While subprime vehicle loans contributed to third quarter growth, the total contribution was minor. Far more concerning is the continuing growth of inventories and the apparent burst of growth in IP investment.
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First quarter GDP was pretty good. I’ll only add that there are two more estimates to be released. BEA’s revisions have been pretty substantial in recent years. My guess — and it’s only a guess — is that the 4% growth rate will be revised downward over the next two months.
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National income accounting is not particularly easy or interesting. But those who try to use GDP should know what they’re talking about. Mr. Davidow has sadly failed this test. Continue Reading →
Well, it happens that there’s a country just north of us that had about as bad a winter as the U.S. That’s Canada, where first quarter GDP grew 2.2%. This growth occurred despite a contraction in gross investment (-1.6%) and a huge drawdown in business inventories of -$495 million (Canadian dollars, of course). Somehow, even faced with harsh winter conditions, those intrepid Canadian consumers managed to increase spending by 2.6%. Perhaps Amazon.com and Google shopping are easier to use north of the border. Continue Reading →
Earlier this year I posted an article stating that I would not use government data until at least after the 2016 election. I’ve now violated that promise several times. But this data makes me suspect that even the Bureau of Economic Analysis is just making up numbers. Continue Reading →
The U.S. economy is in for a rough time in 2014. In large part this has been caused by the implementation of Obamacare, the Dodd-Frank financial reform act, and the flood of new regulations emanating from a plethora of U.S. government agencies. I’ll just mention the de facto war on coal being waged by the EPA and the broad use of “disparate impact analysis” in the Department of Labor. Continue Reading →
The more subtle issue is a complete misunderstanding of what GDP measures. Most principles of economics texts get this pretty much: gross domestic product is the market value of all goods and services produced in a country during a calendar year. Read that again and see if you can find the words “spending” or “transactions.” You can’t because GDP measures neither of those. GDP measures production, not spending. Continue Reading →
The preliminary estimate had been 2.5 percent, but the revised estimate is 2.0 percent. Continue Reading →
“The Bureau emphasized that the third-quarter advance estimate released today is based on source data that are incomplete or subject to further revision by the source agency …” Continue Reading →