Tuesday, December 22, 2009

3Q Economic Growth Revised Downward to 2.2%

The Commerce Department's final estimate showed gross domestic product for 3Q grew at a 2.2 percent annual rate instead of the 2.8 percent pace it reported last month

Do not take these macro-numbers too seriously.

Such macro-aggregations are inaccurate and contain questionable inputs. Case in point: The transfer of funds from taxpayers to Goldman Sachs that was ultimately labeled "profits" are considered a part of economic growth.

Other parts were also manipulated. Motor vehicle output added 1.45 percentage points to the third-quarter change in real GDP. Got that? GDP was up 2.2% and auto out put was 70% of it. Which in turn was all about Cash4Clunkers.

And, of course, killing people can be a big boost to GDP.

Real federal government consumption expenditures and gross investment increased 8.0 percent in the third quarter. National defense increased 8.4 percent. Nondefense increased 7.0 percent.

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