July 31, 2009

2Q09 GDP Down an Annualized 1.0%; BEA Does Massive Comprehensive Update

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:26 am

Uncle Sam’s lengthy report is here.

Given the comprehensive revision (apparently all the way back to 1929?) and the need to reconcile some clearly conflicting numbers, comments will have to come later.

The most obvious reconciliation has to be between the following:
- Full year 2008 growth: revised to +0.4%.
- Individual quarterly 2008 growth:
— First quarter , -0.7%
— Second quarter, +1.5%
— Third quarter, which still marks the beginning of the POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) Economy, -2.1%
— Fourth quarter, -5.4%

2008′s annual growth can’t be the old number, which would have been about -0.5% (result of +0.9, +2.8, -0.5, and -6.3), and it’s obviously not the result of combining the new numbers.

You don’t have to be a math whiz to be able to tell that the numbers are currently inconsistent. So I’ll wait until something is updated or I’m able to get other answers before commenting further.

Other items of note in the quarterlies:

  • 4Q07 moved from negative to positive (+2.1%), which would lead one to question the “official” recession starting point of Dec. 2007.
  • 1Q08 went negative (from +0.9% to -0.7%).
  • The second quarter of 2008′s +1.5%, assuming it stands, is still positive enough to ward off the idea that we were presumptively in recession then, absent sufficiently compelling evidence from elsewhere.
  • The previous two three points lend more credence to a non-recessionary mini-dip followed by a real, rip-roaring recession as normal people define it beginning in the third quarter of 2008.
  • 3Q-2000, which I think had been -1.4%, went positive.

Update: Reax is here, pegged to a Wall Street Journal editorial.

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