The Phaserl


Among Major Economies, Only the Chinese Numbers Are More Suspect

from Jesse’s Café Américain:

On the surface this report shows solid economic growth for the US economy during the second quarter of 2015. Unfortunately, all of the usual caveats merit restatement:

— A significant portion of the “solid growth” in this headline number could be the result of understated BEA inflation data. Using deflators from the BLS results in a more modest 2.33% growth rate. And using deflators from the Billion Prices Project puts the growth rate even lower, at 1.28%.

— Per capita real GDP (the number we generally use to evaluate other economies) comes in at about 1.6% using BLS deflators and about 0.6% using the BPP deflators. Keep in mind that population growth alone (not brilliant central bank maneuvers) contributes a 0.72% positive bias to the headline number.

— Once again we wonder how much we should trust numbers that bounce all over the place from revision to revision. One might expect better from a huge (and expensive) bureaucracy operating in the 21st century.

Among major economies, only the Chinese numbers are more suspect. 

All that said, we have — on the official record — solid economic growth and 5.3% unemployment.

What more could Ms. Yellen want? 

Consumer Metrics Institute, BEA Revises 2nd Quarter 2015 GDP Growth Upward to 3.70%

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