Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Recession of 2008 That Wasn't?

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Originally published on 4/24/08
Charts last updated on 1/31/09.
Click here to examine more current data.
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The latest update:
1/30/09 - Today, the quantitative data confirm we are in a recession. However, prior to late September of 2008, the evidence (summarized below) did not support that assertion. This was particularly true from mid April through late September. This is most readily visualized through the following chart of the market making odds of a recession in 2008.

Click the image to view the source or click here to enlarge it.
If the source image does not appear, click the refresh button:

Click the image to view the source
Click here to learn the primary cause of this recession.
Media hysteria certainly contributed and exacerbated.
Was one government “solution” to another government “solution” the final straw?
Click here for the obvious answer.
Click here and ask yourself when the recession really began.


Start with GDP data & ask how, in comparison to all prior recessions,
a recession could have begun in December of 2007:

Click the image to enlarge it and view the source data
Click the image to enlarge it and view the source data
10/19/10 Update:
The above chart now reflects revised data.
Click here for the data which that chart originally reflected
(GDP growth in both Q4 of 2007 and Q1 of 2008).
Were the data revisions honest & unbiased? You decide.

Yes, the NBER examines more than just GDP. According to the NBER:

“A recession is a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales.”
Click here and examine all 6 of those metrics.


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The Basics:
A Quick Summary - For a quick summary, GDP is the best
The Economic Forecast from a reputable source.
Per The NBER - View all 6 recession parameters defined by the NBER
Dr. Edward E. Leamer - “the data through June 2008 do not yet exceed the recession threshold, and will do so only if things get much worse” (it now appears that they did)
The 2001 Recession - What most in the media have not told you
Buffett & The Media Promote an Imaginary Recession
Intrade - The current price reflects the current probability of a recession in 2008.
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The Latest Updates (click the date for the expanded version):
1/30/09 - Today, the quantitative data confirm we are in a recession. However, prior to late September of 2008, the evidence (summarized below) did not support that assertion. This was particularly true from mid April through late September. This is most readily visualized through the following chart of the market making odds of a recession in 2008.

Click the image to view the source or click here to enlarge it.
If the source image does not appear, click the refresh button:

Click the image to view the source

12/4/08 - In my previous update, I cited another who, like me, questioned whether December of 2007 was the start date for a recession. Today, more voices are added to the list.
12/3/08 - In my previous update, I expressed some doubt --- rooted in quantitative analysis --- as to the objectivity of the NBER. I am not alone.
12/1/08 - The media are reporting that the NBER has declared a recession began in December of 2007. The NBER website confirms this.
11/11/08 - I now believe it is more likely than not that the NBER will eventually declare a recession began in September, 2008 (plus or minus one month).
10/9/08 - Based upon the latest forecast from The Conference Board, it looks like the Democrats and their shameless pimps in the media may finally get the recession they have aggressively promoted every hour of every day throughout all of 2008.
10/3/08 - Unemployment for September held steady at 6.1%. The Media, predictably, promoted irrational hysteria. Ignorant, gutless politicians predictably pandered.
9/26/08 - The BEA “final” report shows Q2 GDP expanded at 2.8% (revised down from 3.3%, but up from the original “advance” report of 1.9%).
9/18/08 - The Conference Board updated their forecast today. The updated forecast calls for continued growth in real GDP throughout 2008 and 2009.
9/5/08 - The unemployment rate rose from 5.7 to 6.1 percent in August.
8/29/08 - Personal income decreased 0.7 percent in July.
8/28/08 - Q2 GDP expanded at 3.3% (revised up from 1.9%). That’s UP 2.4 points from the 0.9% GROWTH of the previous quarter.
8/23/08 - Dr. Edward E. Leamer:
“the data through June 2008 do not yet exceed the recession threshold, and will do so only if things get much worse”
8/21/08 - Report from The Conference Board on leading U.S. Economic Indicators for July 2008.
8/15/08 - “Industrial production increased 0.2 percent in July”
8/1/08 - Q2 GDP (advance report) expanded at 1.9%, UP one full point from the 0.9% GROWTH of the previous quarter. Unemployment rose to 5.7%, but remains well below levels indicative of a recession.
7/25/08 - “U.S. June durable goods orders up 0.8 pct vs. 0.4 pct fall expected”
7/3/08 - June unemployment unchanged at 5.5%, ISM NMI at 48.2%
7/1/08 - The June PMI of 50.2% indicates growth in the manufacturing sector
6/27/08 - Personal income increased 1.9 percent
6/26/08 - All charts updated & Personal Income chart revised to show PI against CPI, a reflection of Real Personal Income
6/26/08 - Q1 GDP “final” data showed better growth (1.0%) than the “preliminary” report (0.9%)
6/24/08 - Media Hysteria & American Psychology
6/20/08 - The Conference Board U.S. Leading Economic Index Increased Slightly
6/13/08 - Odds of 2008 recession drop to 24%, CPI is tame
5/30/08 - GDP growth forecast for Q2 of 2008 increased from 0.4% to 0.8%
5/29/08 - Q1 GDP “preliminary” data showed better growth (0.9%) than the “advance” report (0.6%)
5/26/08 - A “news” update from Warren Buffett & the so-called MSM
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1/30/09 Update:

Today, the quantitative data confirm we are in a recession. However, prior to late September of 2008, the evidence (summarized below) did not support that assertion. This was particularly true from mid April through late September. This is most readily visualized through the following chart of the market making odds of a recession in 2008.

Click the image to view the source or click here to enlarge it.
If the source image does not appear, click the refresh button:

Click the image to view the source
Click here to learn the primary cause of this recession.
Media hysteria certainly contributed and exacerbated.
Was one government “solution” to another government “solution” the final straw?
Click here for the obvious answer.
Click here and ask yourself when the recession really began.


12/4/08 Update:

In my previous update, I cited another who, like me, questioned whether December of 2007 was the start date for a recession. Today, more voices are added to the list:

1) Click here for the views from First Trust Portfolios as expressed by Brian S. Wesbury, Chief Economist and Robert Stein, Senior Economist.

2) Click here and see that Dr. Perry, professor of economics and finance in the School of Management at the Flint campus of the University of Michigan shares their views.

The more I think about it, the more I believe that the recession can be said to have started at precisely 1:22PM EDT, on Friday, October 3rd, 2008. That is the precise moment when it was announced that the House of Representatives voted to approve the “Emergency Economic [de]Stabilization Act of 2008” (thereby guaranteeing a recession).

Okay, maybe the September 15, 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers actually marked the beginning of the recession. But, surely the October 3rd House vote was the coup de grâce.

Hat Tip (obviously) to Dr. Perry at Carpe Diem.

12/3/08 Update:

In my previous update, I expressed some doubt --- rooted in quantitative analysis --- as to the objectivity of the NBER. I am not alone.

Quoting Randall Hoven at American Thinker:
“I'm sure the NBER has good reasons for calling and timing the two Bush recessions. But even it would have to admit that those two recessions are anomalous -- oddballs among the 11 recessions in the last 60 years.”

“Here's how the NBER might help
[eliminate questions as to their objectivity]: tell us exactly the formula for calling and timing a recession and give us the input data so that we can reproduce its results. If it can't, or won't, it should not be considered the ‘official’ caller of recessions in my opinion.

In my opinion, there should be both transparency and clear objectivity in calling and timing recessions. The method should be repeatable and based on publicly available data. It should be more than simply the considered, consensus opinion of a panel of seven experts. Otherwise we invite public doubt -- public doubt in the area of cause and effect of economic downturns. This is important stuff -- or should be, in a democracy.”
I would note that Dr. Edward Leamer DID produce a formula and, in a paper issued in August 2008, found that:
“the data through June 2008 do not yet exceed the recession threshold, and will do so only if things get much worse”
Fine…
Things did get slightly worse and the current forecast (dated 11/24/08) calls for it to get worse than that.

As I said before, we are probably now in a recession. But, the data --- when analyzed with transparency --- do not seem to indicate that a recession started at any point prior to June of 2008 (I would argue no point prior to late September of 2008 --- at which point, this stupid bailout nonsense guaranteed a recession).

I continue to suggest readers compare this economic forecast with the updated charts presented below and get some historical perspective! In particular, compare the current forecast against the recession of 1982.

12/1/08 Update:

The media are reporting that the NBER has declared a recession began in December of 2007. The NBER website confirms this.

I do not have time at the moment to review the previous link in detail. But, my initial impression is that we have just witnessed the full on politicization of economic research at the NBER.

Climate science --- to a large extent --- long ago ceased being either scientific or objective. My fear is that both climate science and economic research have now been almost entirely politicized.

More to come later. Meantime, examine the quantitative data for yourself. I think you will find that declaring a recession to have begun in December of 2007 is utterly inconsistent with any previously declared recession since World War II. Click here for one opinion/analysis along those lines.

I continue to suggest readers compare this economic forecast with the updated charts presented below and get some historical perspective! In particular, compare the current forecast against the recession of 1982.

11/11/08 Update:

The advance data suggest that Q3 of 2008 produced very slightly negative GDP growth (-0.3%). IF, two (or more) revisions down the road, Q3 is not revised into positive territory and IF, as this forecast (dated 11/06/08) projects, Q4 of 2008 produces negative GDP growth, I believe the NBER will eventually declare a recession began in September, 2008 (plus or minus one month).

If my opinion proves correct, all who declared we were in a recession prior to that point will have been proven flat out wrong. Worse than that, every one of those hysteria mongers will have played a VERY significant role in CREATING this recession.

The aforementioned forecast, which --- for good reason --- became notably more pessimistic immediately AFTER Obama was elected, now forecasts negative GDP growth through Q2 of 2009. That forecast suggests a recession that would be slightly deeper and slightly longer than the very minor recession of 2001.

I suggest readers compare the aforementioned forecast with the updated charts presented below and get some historical perspective!

10/9/08 Update:

Based upon the latest forecast from The Conference Board, it looks like the Democrats and their shameless pimps in the media may finally get the recession they have aggressively promoted every hour of every day throughout all of 2008. The latest forecast, released on 10/8/08, for the first time, now forecasts negative GDP growth for Q3 of 2008 through Q2 of 2009. Time will tell.

But, the above forecast would amount to a minor recession, NOT a catastrophe. Compare the forecasted metrics to the charts presented below and get some historical perspective!

What is absolutely certain is that if Obama is elected, the economic woes will be deeper and longer. Obama will be certain to make the same types of mistakes as FDR.

10/3/08 Update:

According to today’s BLS report, the unemployment rate for September held steady at 6.1 percent. The Media, predictably, promoted irrational hysteria. Ignorant, gutless politicians predictably pandered.

Examine this chart and put this 6.1% unemployment rate into historical perspective.

Then, examine this chart and the associated commentary as relates to the current condition of the economy.

9/26/08 Update:

According to the BEA “final” report, Q2 GDP expanded at a rate of 2.8% (revised down from 3.3%, but up from the original “preliminary” report of 1.9%). That’s UP 1.9 points from the Q1 GROWTH rate of 0.9%.

9/18/08 Update:

The Conference Board updated their forecast today. The updated forecast calls for continued growth in real GDP throughout 2008 and 2009.

Without at least one more quarter, I would say two more quarters, of negative GDP growth, there will be no recession in 2008 (or 2009). Recall the following:

1) Since the recession of 2001, only Q4 of 2007 has shown very slightly negative GDP growth.

2) The recession of 2001 was the only recession since WWII which did not include at LEAST two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth.

3) Leading into and through the anomalous and extremely minor recession of 2001, 3 of 5 quarters showed negative GDP growth.

4) Despite the latest turmoil in the financial sector (and the inevitable media hysteria surrounding it), the larger economy continues to grow and the professionals who make their living forecasting such things continue to forecast continued growth.

9/5/08 Update:

According to today’s BLS report, the unemployment rate rose from 5.7 to 6.1 percent in August.

Click here to read my commentary on yesterday’s related report.

Click here for additional perspective.

Click here for more insightful commentary. When government mandates higher minimum wages, jobs are always lost and the folks at the bottom are the ones who suffer the most.

8/29/08 Update:

According to today’s BEA report:

“Personal income decreased $89.9 billion, or 0.7 percent, in July”

To put this in perspective, view the updated chart. The pattern for this one parameter of many is not even close to the pattern evidenced during the extremely minor recession of 2001.

For another perspective on this report, see Dr. Perry’s commentary.

8/28/08 Update:

According to the BEA “Preliminary” (aka first revision) report, Q2 GDP expanded at a rate of 3.3% (revised up from 1.9%). That’s UP 2.4 points from the Q1 GROWTH rate of 0.9%.

Also, click here for Dr. Perry’s commentary.

8/23/08 Update:

Dr. Edward E. Leamer concurs:
“the data through June 2008 do not yet exceed the recession threshold, and will do so only if things get much worse”
8/21/08 Update:

Click here to read The Conference Board report on leading U.S. Economic Indicators for July 2008.

I see this report as an affirmation of the forecast from The Conference Board that the coming quarters will be challenging, but will still show positive GDP growth.

8/15/08 Update:

Quoting the Federal Reserve Report on Industrial Production for July:
“Industrial production increased 0.2 percent in July after having advanced 0.4 percent in June. Manufacturing output gained 0.4 percent in July and was boosted by a rise of 3.6 percent in the production of motor vehicles and parts. Excluding motor vehicles and parts, the index for manufacturing increased 0.2 percent. The output of mines moved up 0.9 percent, while the output of utilities contracted 1.9 percent. At 111.8 percent of its 2002 average, total industrial production was 0.1 percent below its level of a year earlier [and, this is the parameter which I graph]. In July, the capacity utilization rate for total industry edged up to 79.9 percent, a level 1.1 percentage points below its average for 1972-2007.”
Note: On or before 9/15/08, the link for this report (08/15/08) will reflect a new report and this link (which, as of 08/15/08, is not currently valid) will reflect the report dated 8/15/08.

8/1/08 Update:

All charts were updated to reflect the most current data.

According to the “Advance” report, Q2 GDP expanded at a rate of 1.9%, up one full point from the Q1 growth rate of 0.9%.

Quoting the previous link (as regards revisions to previous data):
“The relatively small revisions to the annual estimates reflect partly offsetting revisions to the quarters within a year. For example, for 2007, the annual rate of growth of real GDP for the second quarter was revised up 1.0 percentage point, from 3.8 percent to 4.8 percent, while the growth rate for the fourth quarter was revised down 0.8 percentage point, from a small increase (0.6 percent) to a small decrease (0.2 percent).”
Unemployment rose from 5.5% to 5.7%. However, a typical recession will see at least “a two-point rise in unemployment to at least 6%” (as this chart demonstrates).

So far, we are currently a mere 1.3% above the lowest level reached during the current (and ongoing) economic expansion.

Unless unemployment reaches 6.4%, it is unlikely that a recession will take place at any point during 2008. And, the current forecast does not call for that.

7/25/08 Update:

U.S. June durable goods orders up 0.8 pct vs 0.4 pct fall expected

7/3/08 Update:

The June unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.5%. A typical recession would see at least a 2% growth in unemployment. Based upon this table, Unless we reach 6.4%, a recession is unlikely. And, the current forecast does not see that happening.

The Non-Manufacturing Index from the Institute for Supply Management fell to 48.2%. Anything below 50% indicates negative growth in that sector. April and May had both shown growth in that sector.

7/1/08 Update:

PMI increased to 50.2%, indicating growth in the manufacturing sector and breaking a downward trend which began last February.

Read the full report here.

6/27/08 Update:

May 2008 PERSONAL INCOME AND OUTLAYS
“Personal income increased $225.7 billion, or 1.9 percent, and disposable personal income (DPI) increased $600.3 billion, or 5.7 percent”

“Real disposable income increased 5.3 percent”
In this table, 78% of the increase in Personal Income is found under line item 18 (the “Other” line item under “Government social benefits to persons”). This confirms the large majority of the increase came from the government stimulus package (rebate checks). However, in the income section, the only line item which did not show an increase was “Personal interest income”.

Personal consumption (line 24) also increased substantially. Hopefully, we’ll soon see this reflected in Real Retail Sales.

Trend information is found here and here.

6/26/08 Update:

The Q1 2008 “final” report shows GDP grew at 1.0% (as compared to the 0.9% growth for Q1 2008 indicated on 5/29/08 in the “preliminary” report).

This makes it very unlikely that we were in a recession at any point during Q1 of 2008. Given the forecast from The Conference Board for continued GDP growth in 2008 and 2009, the odds of a recession in 2008 are fading ever faster.

Unemployment, Industrial Production and Real Retail Sales are metrics to keep an eye on.

6/24/08 Update:

Media Hysteria & American Psychology

James Pethokoukis describes the media hysteria and The Conference Board reports the effect. Capisce?

Kudos to Pethokoukis for being an honorable journalist (a rapidly dying breed). Hey! Can we put “honorable journalists” on the endangered species list? Is Global Warming frying the brain and rotting the soul of the average journalist?

Meantime, back in the land of reality, the final update to Q1 GDP is due out on Thursday of this week (6/26/08). We should then be able to reasonably dismiss any likelihood that we were in a recession of any sort during Q1 of 2008 and we can begin to focus on Q2 and the continued forecast from The Conference Board for continued GDP growth in Q2.

6/20/08 Update:

Quoting the brief summary of the larger report:
“The Conference Board announced today that the U.S. leading index increased 0.1 percent, the coincident index increased 0.1 percent and the lagging index increased 0.2 percent in May.”
6/13/08 Update:

1) The odds of a recession as expressed at Intrade dropped back down to 24%. This tied the previous low of last month.

2) This was probably largely in response to the the May CPI data released today. As the BLS chart (including energy and food) demonstrates, there is nothing alarming about the current rate of inflation (not even with the current price of gasoline factored in).

For those who are concerned about high gasoline prices, review the facts and sign the petition.

3) Heck, even the MSM had mostly good things to say about the CPI data.

5/30/08 Update:

More bad news for the Recession Hysteria Pimps:

The Conference Board updated their forecast yesterday and increased their predicted GDP growth for Q2 of 2008 from 0.4% to 0.8%.

These professionals, whose income, for “over 90 years”, has depended has depended upon accurate economic forecasts, continue to predict GDP growth in every quarter of 2008 as well as continued GDP growth in 2009.

5/29/08 Update:

More bad news for the Recession Hysteria Pimps:

The Q1 2008 “preliminary” report shows GDP grew at 0.9% (as compared to the 0.6% growth for Q1 2008 indicated on 4/30/08 in the “advance” report).

5/26/08 Update:

Notorious activist for the Democratic Party, Warren Buffet, continues to pimp for an imaginary recession.

Imaginary? Yep! Even Buffett admits that his imaginary recession is:
“not [a recession] in the sense as defined by economists”
Rather, the #1 Democratic cheer leader for the imaginary recession declared it’s all about how people are “feeling”. Well, DUH! The freaking media have been ramming this doom and gloom FICTION down their throats for at least the last six months! It’s no wonder the naïve little lemmings are now “feeling” like they’re in a recession (when even Buffett himself admits they’re NOT).

The “report” goes on to note:
“Omaha-based Berkshire has about $35 billion in cash and is looking to invest.”
Is Buffett looking to drive the markets down in search of the value plays he is known for? I would not presume to know.

Remember, even The San Francisco Chronicle has already debunked Buffett once.

Also recall, Buffett freely admits that he:
“never made any money out of economic forecasting”
Is this the “news” which, today, drove the odds of a recession at Intrade up from 30% to 40%? Maybe. Are the traders betting on pimp fiction creating a self-fulfilling prophecy? Maybe.

But, the professionals whose income depends upon accurate economic forecasts, continue to forecast economic growth in every quarter of 2008.

5/19/08 Update:

Quoting this article:
“ The New York-based Conference Board said its forecast of future economic activity rose 0.1 percent in April, matching a 0.1 percent increase in March. Economists had expected a 0.1 decrease in April.”

“ ‘These data certainly reflect a weak economy but not one in recession,’ said Ken Goldstein, labor economist at The Conference Board. The small increases in March and April, which followed five months of decline, could be a signal the economy may not weaken further, he said.”
It was a mixed picture, but on balance a positive one. The full press release can be found here.

5/15/08 Update:

Quoting the 5/15/08 Federal Reserve report on Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization:
“Industrial production declined 0.7 percent in April”
But, on 5/15/08, this news had essentially no impact on the odds of a recession as reflected in the futures trading at Intrade.

5/08/08 Update:

The professionals whose income depends upon accurate economic forecasts updated their forecast today. They continue to forecast economic growth in every quarter of 2008.

Remember, The Conference Board has been in the business of providing accurate economic forecasts for "over 90 years”.

The Conference Board predicted 0.4% GDP growth for Q1 of 2008. And, the advance number, 0.6%, beat their forecast. I’m betting their forecast for the rest of the year will be equally accurate.

But, nobody in the media wants to allow anybody at The Conference Board to talk about their forecast. Why? Because it’s “off script”. It won’t sell as much advertising and it won’t advance the political agenda of those in the media.

5/6/08 Update:

Carpe Diem - Intrade: Recession Odds: From 70% to 25% in 18 Days

5/2/08 Update:

The April unemployment rate dropped from 5.1% to 5.0%.

Recall that, according to the NBER:
“A recession is a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales.”
Between a lower unemployment rate, continued GDP growth, continued growth in personal income, continued growth in industrial production, a clearly rebounding stock market (a leading economic indicator) and tremendous fiscal stimulus in the pipeline, it is becoming increasingly unlikely that we are currently in a recession of any sort, much less the catastrophic recession promoted by so-called “journalists”.

Or, as was more succinctly reiterated at Carpe Diem (after an even more insightful analysis of today’s employment data):
“No recession.”
4/30/08 Update:

The Bureau of Economic Analysis reported today:
“Real gross domestic product -- the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States -- increased at an annual rate of 0.6 percent in the first quarter of 2008, according to advance estimates released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the fourth quarter, real GDP also increased 0.6 percent.”
Yes, there are two more revisions to come for Q1 GDP.

Yes, there remains an increasingly remote possibility that we were in a recession during Q1 of 2008. But, the “worst recession since World War II”? A flat out “Depression”? Give me a BREAK!

4/30/08 Update:

Many in the media have noted that the recession of 2001 (03/01 to 11/01) was the only recession ever which did not witness at least two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth.

However, the media have been less forthcoming in noting that leading up to and through the recession of 2001, three out of five quarters produced negative GDP growth. More importantly, the first three quarters of 2001 produced a net negative GDP growth of -0.7%:

Click the image to enlarge it and view the source data:
Click the image to learn more
Since the recession of 2001, only one quarter has shown (very slight) negative growth (Q4 of 2007). It was only on 7/31/08, in a report that included “partly offsetting revisions”, that we learned Q4 of 2007 had been revised downward to the point of negative growth. If we’re going to have a recession in 2008, we’ll need at LEAST one more negative quarter, probably TWO MORE.



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Originally published on 4/24/08
Charts most recently updated on 1/31/09 to reflect the most current data
=====================================================


Throughout all of 2008 and 2009, the media have aggressively promoted the falsehood that current condition are the worst since World War II.

But, what do the data say?

1) According to the NBER, during a recession, there are 6 main data points which normally show “significant decline… lasting more than a few months”:
“A recession is a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales.”
2) Let’s compare current conditions against past recessions just since 1970. We’ll examine using all 6 parameters which the NBER indicate show “normally visible” decline during a recession (noting that some of the data do not go back that far). See the conclusions at the bottom of the charts:


Real GDP
Click the image to enlarge it and view the source data:

Click the image to enlarge it and view the source data



Real Personal Income:
Click the image to enlarge it and view the source data:

Click the image to enlarge it and view the source data



Unemployment Rate
Click the image to enlarge it and view the source data:

Click the image to enlarge it and view the source data



Industrial Production
Click the image to enlarge it and view the source data:

Click the image to enlarge it and view the source data



Wholesale Trade
Click the image to enlarge it and view the source data:

Click the image to enlarge it and view the source data



Real Retail Sales
(where the influence of media hysteria is most visible
and where the available historical data are most limited)
Click the image to enlarge it and view the source data:

Click the image to enlarge it and view the source data


Conclusion - Lacking sufficient historical data, we have to throw out “Real Retail Sales”. By EVERY OTHER METRIC, ANY assertion that the current conditions are “the worst since World War II” is nothing more and nothing less than a BALD FACED LIE!

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

The numbers can lie! A dollar in 2008 is not the same as the dollar a few years ago (check out comparison with Euro or prices of other necessities). The feds are printing money like there is no tomorrow (they stopped publishing M3 money supply numbers sometime ago). If you look at the real growth in terms of "real" purchasing power, you will not find much. Yes, you can flood the market with dollars (dilution) and keep measuring the growth in the same dollar units while the value of each of those units (dollars) keeps going down.
(CPI numbers are so manipulated and don't count stuff people consume every day like food and gas!)

As a result, you will keep seeing GDP growth (not sure how well the GDP deflator for Real GDP reflects what a consumer sees) on paper but do a survey of few people on the street, you will get the idea.

---
Random News and Analysis
http://randomnewsandanalysis.blogspot.com

sbvor said...

Anonymous (aka Random News and Analysis),

So, in your view, “a survey of few people on the street” trumps the tried and true, inflation adjusted, real GDP data from the BEA.

You remind me of all those naïve “investors” who kept preaching to me about the “new paradigm, no profits required, eyeballs are all that matters” nonsense during the dot.com bubble. In my opinion, you are every bit as deluded.

Sorry, you’re just inventing excuses to try to dodge the obvious fact that it is becoming increasingly unlikely that we are currently in a recession or that we will be at any point in 2008. Even the so-called “mainstream media” are backpedaling on this one.

Marc M said...

I just wanted to say, AMEN.

You have voiced everything I have been thinking for the past 4-6 months...(sigh) I just don't understand the media and why they seemed so hell bent on "promoting recession hysteria" - don't they understand what they say can become a self fulfilling prophecy? It's almost as if they wanted a recession.

People should really be more focused (and worried) about the fact that "Oil futures hit a trading record of $126.98 a barrel Tuesday." See:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12400801/

Most important: since 1973 every recession has been preceded by a rise in energy prices. GDP might still be growing and our economy not in a recession, but can things stay that way with oil prices on the rise?


--------------------

@ random news and analysis:

virtually all macroeconomic analysis is conducted using real GDP. Nominal GDP does not count for inflation (or dilution of the money supply) and therefore does not capture real growth, hence it is used for the very reason you claim is being over looked: to control for real purchasing power.

and the core CPI purposefully excludes goods which price tends to be highly unstable - such as food and energy (where large price movements can occur due to supply disruptions - like a drought or an OPEC cutback in production). It is this "manipulation" that allows the CPI to be less volatile and follow true trends - resilient to outside forces.


so yeah...thought I'd leave my two cents - take'em or leave'em

-mm

sbvor said...

Marc,

Thanks for the kind comments.

Some perspective on gasoline prices can be found in the charts included in this post (and beyond).

GRASSROOTS AMERICAN VALUES said...

Thanks for living a comment in my blog (Grassroots American Values). You've done a lot of research and I wish people took the time to read it instead of absorbing everything the Left-wing media writes!

sbvor said...

GrassRoots,

Thank you for your kind comment.

If more people fact checked what they are spoon fed by so-called “journalists”, they would be appalled at the lies, distortions and deceptions.

In one sense, the so-called “profession” of so-called “journalism” is the single greatest threat to the future of civilization. Don’t get me wrong. A free and objective press is absolutely essential to freedom and democracy. But, as we both know, we do not have an objective (mainstream) press. And, the mainstream press we do have is obviously hell bent on surrendering to tyranny (when they’re not simply pandering to all manner of hysteria).

And, that is why we bloggers have to do their jobs for them.

Anonymous said...

You guys are putting fake graphs and pretending that the things are hunky dory.

I say fake because your units are dollars. A dollar today is not the same as a dollar 5 years ago. If you adjust the dollar (vs. say Euro, not vs the bogus inflation number), your graphs would show a different trend. Why don't you go and re-do those graphs taking into account the dollar depreciation vs Euro (or actually against some hard globally tradable asset) over the past 5 years and let's take a look at them.

Also, why don't you put a graph of non-borrowed reserve funds of depository institutions (you can grab these from federalreserve.gov). You will see what a big hole the banks are in. The fed short term interest rates are so low because banks have no reserves (or maybe they would rather put their money somewhere else). They are using these borrowings to maintain the statutory reserves. No wonder they are so reluctant to offer credit now. Federal Reserve wants to start paying interest on those reserves now instead of waiting until 2011 per the law because it really can't lower interest rates much further.

How about putting some graphs showing the rise in the healthcare costs vs rise in the incomes over the past 5 years?

How about putting some graphs showing the rise in the energy costs vs rise in the incomes over the past 5 years?

How about putting some graphs showing the rise in the food grain costs vs rise in the incomes over the past 5 years?

How about putting some graphs showing the rise in the home prices vs rise in the incomes over the past 5 years?

How about putting some graphs of consumer debt (all debt including credit card, student loans and mortgage payments) vs the income over the past 5 years?

NOTE:
By income, I am talking about "average per capita income" in these graphs.

It would be great if you can create these graphs to include the latest quarters.


Let's see those graphs and then I will believe you that things look great for the future...

(I still have faith in the American people to rise up to the challenge and compete globally using the falling dollar as a competitive edge against Europeans. But the speculation in oil/gas prices is getting extreme and with little public transport in the US, it could be a rude shock to the economy if the gas prices keep going up and people have to switch to motorcycles to go to work instead of big SUV's)

And don't forget to check out:
www.truthin2008.org

while you keep progating the standard propaganda that things are looking great...


Maybe you will also listen to this guy:

http://randomnewsandanalysis.blogspot.com/2008/03/david-walker-60-minutes-report.html

---
Random News and Analysis
http://randomnewsandanalysis.blogspot.com

Greg Loutsenko said...

a recession, technically (as defined in all economic textbooks), is negative real GDP growth lasting for 6 months or more.

It is very, very unlikely that this is the case in USA now because most indicators exhibit a slowdown but not a decrease in economic growth.

just a quick warning, a recession can only be judged to have happened by looking at real GDP figures post hoc. thus keep in mind is that one only knows if a recession truly happened several years afterwards because real GDP figures get readjusted as more data comes in. Current GDP figures are inaccurate and will tipicly get readjusted several times before being deemed "stable".

I noticed that quite a bit of "liberal" sources (for example Paul Krugman's blog) regularly hunts for bad economic news to prove there is a recession on. I think one of the reasons why this is happening is that quite a lot of "liberal" commentators would love to pin a recession onto Bush. They hate him (although probably quite rightly) so they think that the more they can blame for the better. Although this quite a far fetched theory of mine, I do think that there has got to be some truth in this. However i think all this talk of the worst recession ever is a bit far fetched.

sbvor said...

Anonymous,

1) Please create a blogger.com ID (just so we can distinguish you from other anonymous posters). Just visit that site, give them an e-mail address and you’re in. It takes about 20 seconds.

2) If I understand correctly, you:

A) Question the objectivity of The St. Louis Federal Reserve inflation adjusted data (the readily verified source of my charts).

B) Question the objectivity of the parameters which the NBER tells us will show “normally visible” decline during a recession.

3) Okay, if you are a more credible authority than either of these two institutions, kindly create a blog and show us your preferred metrics and sources. I’m betting you won’t. At best, you’ll just spew more unsubstantiated partisan rhetoric.

P.S.) The charts & associated links in this post will add some much needed perspective to your media induced hysteria over gasoline prices.

sbvor said...

Greg,

1) Your definition is at odds with the NBER definition (quoted and cited near the top of my post).

In fact, at least one member of the NBER believes your definition was invented by a so-called “journalist” (although I cannot, at the moment, find the substantiating link).

That said, only the 2001 recession defied that “rule of thumb”. And, I have documented in my post why the 2001 recession still, in a larger sense, fit that “rule of thumb”.

2) If the forecast from The Conference Board proves accurate, it is pretty much a slam dunk that we will not have been in a recession at any point in 2008.

Anonymous said...

2) If I understand correctly, you:

A) Question the objectivity of The St. Louis Federal Reserve inflation adjusted data (the readily verified source of my charts).
NO

B) Question the objectivity of the parameters which the NBER tells us will show “normally visible” decline during a recession.
NO


Now check this out:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lies,_damned_lies,_and_statistics

That's why I ask you that you provide some more statistics (specifically the charts asked above) so we have a little better picture of what's going on even though we are still seeing the rosy charts but press and American public are complaining which according to you is purely partisan.

sbvor said...

Anonymous,

I have presented undeniably objective and relevant facts and figures.

If you have some other set of facts and figures that you find to be more objective and more relevant, create your own blog, present them and we’ll compare them.

Greg Loutsenko said...

old man, you are paranoid about journalists.

I could list you a number of economics books which define recession in a conventional way I defined it.

i have to say that 6 months is somewhat of an arbitrary amount of time. NBER is right to say that a recession is just negative GDP growth. however the reason why it is 6 months is because most economists need have a mutually agreed definitions of economic jargon. That is why most economists use the 6 months convention. Basically it is to avoid exactly this kinds of arguments as in this blog entry. Note that an economy which has low growth (e.g. Japan) will have negative GDP growth for a short period of time in certain parts of the year (straight after new year for example). So if one looks by month Japan would have 2 or 3 recessions on a year. But if you look on longer period average of 6 months growth is actually postive but low.

sbvor said...

1) Greg sez:

“I could list you a number of economics books which define recession in a conventional way I defined it.”

Just one will suffice.

2) There is no paranoia here. The simple truth is that experience has taught me to have very little respect for the so-called “profession” of so-called “journalism”.

If you want a better understanding of how your “news” is manufactured for you, you should read this book (written by a CBS veteran and self described “Liberal”).

3) Based on your latest ramblings, I doubt you’ve even read the NBER definition of a recession.

Greg Loutsenko said...

Macroeconomics by Blanchard, a book used in my economics course.

A recession is a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales.

firstly a recession is independent of employment. One can have strong economic growth with relatively high or rising unemployment (e.g. faster growth rate of labour productivity may lead to rising unemployment if demand for actual labour is growing slower). NBER obviously had to dumb down a bit since real income is the same as real GDP and production and sales (its called circular flow of income). So their definition is tautological.

Secondly what is few months? is it 2 months, is it 5, is it less than a year? that is why it is conventional to set a period. Most often set to 6 months.

sbvor said...

Macroeconomics by Blanchard?

Give me the page number and the quote.

Greg Loutsenko said...

(4th edition) http://www.amazon.com/Macroeconomics-4th-Olivier-Blanchard/dp/0131860267/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1211833761&sr=8-1
Page "G-8" (glossary section):


Recession - a period of negative GDP-growth, usually referring to at least 2 consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth.


i.e. 6 months is somewhat arbitrary but it is what is picked by convention amongst most economists.

sbvor said...

Greg,

That sounds to me like a simplistic definition constructed for the benefit of first year economics students. ;-)

Given the anomalous example of the recession of 2001, I suppose “usually” is the keyword here.

After careful examination of that previous link, I think we would both agree with my previous observation that:

“there never has been and, I would wager, never will be, any recession which does not involve at least one quarter of negative GDP growth.”

In fact, I think we could go further and both agree that there never has been and never will be any recession which does not involve at least two quarters of negative GDP growth (be they consecutive or not).

Yes?

Pilo Gui said...

This discussion is beyond a retired professor. I just wrote what the common man feels. If graphs can bring down the price of gas and rice and other food stuff then there is no recession. If all those who lost their jobs lost them becuase of their mistakes and not because the companies which took advantage of the news and sent them out, I can certainly agree that there is no recession. That the house prices are going up and not coming down is true, I will personlly feel that there is no recession. I trust what my purse feels more than any graph.
I wrote in my blog only what I felt and not what I researched.
Pilogui
http://avialblah.blogspot.com

sbvor said...

Pilo,

Relying on feelings rather than facts is what defines those who vote for Democrats.

Read the 3 part series linked to from this link and see what I mean.

sbvor said...

Regarding the definition of a recession:

According to Lakshman Achuthan and Anirvan Banerji of the Economic Cycle Research Institute:

“Ignorance about recessions has taken hold because of a simplistic idea that a recession is two successive quarterly declines in gross domestic product (GDP), a measure of the nation's output.

The idea originated in a 1974 New York Times article by Julius Shiskin, who provided a laundry list of recession-spotting rules of thumb, including two down quarters of GDP. Over the years the rest of his rules somehow dropped away, leaving behind only ‘two down quarters of GDP.’ ”


Felix Salmon dug up the 1974 NYT article and provides the complete list of Shiskin’s rules of thumb:

Duration
A decline in real GNP for 2 consecutive quarters
A decline in industrial production over a six-month period

Depth
A 1.5% decline in real GNP
A 1.5% decline in non-agricultural employment
A two-point rise in unemployment to at least 6%

Diffusion
A decline in non-agricultural employment in more than 75% of industries, as measured over six-month spans, for 6 months or longer

Salmon goes on to note:

“If you use these criteria, I think it’s pretty clear we’re not in a recession - I mean, we’re not even close to a 1.5% decline in real GNP, nor to a two-point rise in unemployment… if all of Shiskin's rules of thumb were actually happening, people would be moaning a lot more loudly than they are right now.”

I would further note that, while two consecutive quarters of negative GDP is not the official definition of a recession, there never has been, and I would wager, never will be any recession which does not witness at least one quarter of negative GDP growth. I would go even further to wager that there will never be any recession which does not witness at least 2 out of 3 quarters of negative GDP growth within or directly adjacent to the official start and stop dates.

As evidence, examine this chart. If you narrow the date range for any given recession, I believe you will find my assertion to be historically consistent.

Art A Layman said...

svbor:

You and many of your commenters know far more about economics than do I. That said, knowledgable people often use spin as much as the next guy.

Whether we are in a definable recession or not is immaterial, by whatever definition. We are in a downturn and the extent of that downturn will eventually determine whether a recession exists, a long time after the fact.

You quote NBER's list of 5 or 6 factors but don't mention the weight they give to each one. They don't weigh them all equally.

Historical perspectives are usually a fair analytical tool but you have to consider significant changes as well as extraordinary events. The 2001 recession, which may not have really even been a recession, had 9/11 in the middle of it. 9/11, an historically incomparable event, could be argued to have rendered comparative economic analysis as flawed, in a historical sense. You should also note that the decline in unemployment slope after the 2001 recession ended is much less steep than in the previous recessions that were most recent. Bush didn't get back to a positive, cumulative new job growth number until 2005.

Since "Reaganomics" there has been a significant increase in free trade and globalization. This expansion of the economic pie also distorts historical economic analysis. Your implied conclusion that "Reaganomics" provided some sort of shift in our economic paradigm is not only farfetched but totally without cause and effect foundation.

If event A happens followed by event B, it does not necessarily follow that A caused B.

There can be little doubt that the average American is strung out. 30 years of stagnant wages coupled with ever increasing prices, crescendoing to today's prices for food and energy, doesn't bode well for optimism. Compound that with increasing job losses and you have recession worries. When you've lost your job, with minimal or no severance and meager unemployment benefits, and there are no new jobs popping up, you don't really care whether the NBER, the economists, or the journalists have correctly called it a recession. You will perceive it as a recessionary feeling and perception is 90% of reality.

One commenter argued, I think, that the current unemployment numbers could be the result of increased labor productivity. I seriously doubt that. In the short term increased labor productivity would not be wide spread enough to affect a working base of 150 million people. In the longer run it could impact unemployment numbers but we probably would never see that effect in the numbers, it would be obscure.

I would also question your heavy reliance on the published economic statistics. Granted it is all we have and the magnitude of data collection is so mammoth that turning out anything is miraculous but most of the data gathering methods are in serious need of improvement. The unemployment data collection and reporting is abhorrent. As with any statistics, over a period of time, if collected similarly, there can be comparability, again, notwithstanding major changes in the paradigms driving the data.

SBVOR said...

1) I will not dignify Art’s comment with a point by point response.

2) Some of Art’s assertions are utterly false propaganda which I have debunked many times before. And, I getting sick and tired of dealing with propaganda spewing morons who, if it came from a preferred source, would not fact check an assertion that the sun rose in the west.

3) Anybody who does not understand the difference between a “downturn” (synonymous with recession) and “slower growth” is not worthy of a rebuttal.

4) I am equally sick of the latest (paraphrased) refrain from Dims that “it feels to us like a recession, therefore it is”.

If I hear that one more time, I will PUKE into their freaking morning latte!

Art,

If you care to at least attempt to substantiate your assertions, you are more than welcome to try again. If you make assertions of quantitative fact, I will expect to see quantitative data.

Art A Layman said...

svbor:

Most folks seek out those sources that have sufficient professional status and credibility as to not require constant “fact checking”. I might take exception to the conclusions of Paul Krugman or Robert Reich or any number of esteemed economists but seldom would I be presumptuous enough to disagree with their economic “facts”. They are far more capable of acquiring and interpreting economic data than am I. If, over time, they exhibit a tendency to be correct in their assessments, there is little sense in “fact checking” them. Other “facts” that I may know are invalid from personal empirical evidence are seldom worth “fact checking” either. We all know the sun rises in the north.

A couple of examples regarding my average worker and stagnant wages comment:

FRBSF Economic Letter
2006-33-34; December 1, 2006
As Figure 1 shows, from 1973 to 2005, real hourly wages of those in the 90th percentile—where most people have college or advanced degrees—rose by 30% or more. As I will discuss later, among this top 10%, the growth was heavily concentrated at the very tip of the top, that is, the top 1% (Piketty and Saez 2006). This includes the people who earn the very highest salaries in the U.S. economy, like sports and entertainment stars, investment bankers and venture capitalists, corporate attorneys, and CEOs. In contrast, at the 50th percentile and below—where many people have at most a high school diploma—real wages rose by only 5% to 10%.3

I don't know how to paste a chart on here but you can go to the San Francisco Fed website and view it.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=7180618

Again can't put the chart here, follow the link.


The wealth gap in America has long been in the making. In the 30 years between 1975 and 2005, U.S. households in the bottom 80 percent income bracket saw their share of national income actually fall. Those in the bottom 40 percent saw a drop in their incomes when adjusted for inflation. Only the top 20 percent of households experienced an increase their share of the total national income; much of that went to households in the highest 5 percent of the income bracket

Seldom would the top 20% be considered average.

Now, perhaps, in the totally esoteric world of macroeconomics “downturn” is synonymous with recession. In the semantic world of we laymen, especially those of us from an accounting persuasion, “downturn” means a decline from a previous level or trend. In fact if we follow your link we find in the dictionary section:

Downturn - A tendency downward, especially in business or economic activity

Then:

Business Dictionary: Downturn
Shift of an economic or stock market cycle from rising to falling. The economy is in a downturn when it moves from expansion to Recession, and the stock market is in a downturn when it changes from a Bull Market to a Bear Market


Now to appears key in that definition so let’s see what Webster says about to:

To - 1 a—used as a function word to indicate movement or an action or condition suggestive of movement toward a place, person, or thing reached (drove to the city)(went back to the original idea)(went to lunch) b—used as a function word to indicate direction (a mile to the south)(turned his back to the door)(a tendency to silliness) c—used as a function word to indicate contact or proximity (applied polish to the table)(put her hand to her heart) d (1)—used as a function word to indicate the place or point that is the far limit (100 miles to the nearest town) (2)—used as a function word to indicate the limit of extent (stripped to the waist) e—used as a function word to indicate relative position (perpendicular to the floor)

It is clear from all these definitions that we can substitute the word “toward” for “to” and we see that “downturn” is appropriate for describing a decline from 2.5%, the full year 2007 rate of growth, to .9% for the 1st quarter of 2008. It is not common to see the bottom fallout and go from positive growth to negative in one fell swoop. We usually see a decrease in the rate of growth followed by a decline to the negative range. To we accountants a decrease in the slope of the trend line portends a "downturn".

In pure economic speak it might be a misnomer but in normal communications it is an apt descriptor.

4) I am equally sick of the latest (paraphrased) refrain from Dims that “it feels to us like a recession, therefore it is”.

Let us first understand that economics is a behavioral science, not a physical science. Understanding what happened in any economic period is explained not by some absolute mathematical formula but by assessing the behavior and decisions made by economic entities. Predicting the economic future is based on assumed behavioral response to economic assumptions, ergo, the “rational man” theory.

An extremely important factor in economic prognostications is “consumer sentiment”. If “consumer sentiment” is down there will be a tendency for businesses to reduce inventories which will tend to drive industrial production down. Retailers will anticipate lower sales and thus order less, in the near term. Granted there are other factors that will be looked at, but “consumer sentiment”, feelings, will be a significant factor.

Let me quote from a source that I’m sure you will accept:

Among these charts, most show an economic slowdown, but the only one that reasonably resembles the extremely minor recession of 2001 is Retail Sales. That was primarily caused by impressionable consumers believing all the media hype.

A slowdown driven by “consumers believing”; sure sounds like feelings to me.

I would suggest, if truth is your goal, which I doubt, that you get over yourself and evaluate all the data out there, not just that data that you think supports your positions.

SBVOR said...

Art,

Good God, man!

Can’t you at least admit that “down” means “down” and the GDP is still moving UP?

Art A Layman said...

sbvor:

One would think that you can't be that dumb, but then.....

Try looking at your own posted graphs, especially the GDP ones. The trend lines go up and "down", not in a recession and not ever reaching negative territory.

When reason fails jump to a new argument....typical....

Art A Layman said...

svbor:

As a scientist I would think that you would understand that the terms "up" and "down" are relative terms. Nothing can be considered as going up except from its starting point. Similarly for "down".

Forget cumulative rates of change graphs and just consider a line graph of static GDP percentages. We find ourselves at an annual rate of 4.9% on October 1, 2007. On March 31, 2008 we have an annual rate of .9%. On that graph the line running from 4.9% to .9% would be a "down" line.

GRASSROOTS AMERICAN VALUES said...

A friend of mine sent me this and I thought all of you should read.

“It wasn’t Bush, it wasn’t greedy corporations, or free trade, or history’s most over-predicted recession. It was not the oil companies, income inequality, or the excesses of cowboy capitalism. None of these things caused the unemployment rate to jump a half a percentage point in one month. Ask yourself a few questions: Why did unemployment surge at a time when unemployment compensation claims are historically low? More to the point, how could unemployment spike this much without a coinciding spike in corporate lay-offs? The answer to all of these questions is same: because very few people lost jobs last month. This huge jump in the size of the unemployed comes from new entrants to the economy—hundreds of thousands of them. In short, well over 600,000 people who were not job seekers in April became job seekers in May. And who starts looking for work at the end of Spring? That’s right—students. Hundreds of thousands of students are looking for work right now, and they’re not finding it. Congress is to blame. Last year Congressional Democrats (along with some Stockholm-Syndromed Republicans) passed the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007, which started a phased hike of the minimum wage from $5.15 an hour to $7.25. Free market economists warned them that this would increase unemployment—that rapid increases in unemployment compensation hit teens and minorities the hardest. But the class-warriors are running the people’s house now, and they would hear none of that, so they took to the floor, let loose the dogs of demagoguery, and saddled America’s pizza parlors, municipal swimming pools, house painting businesses and lawn mowing services with a huge cost increase. Now, we see the perfectly logical outcome of wage controls—rising unemployment among the most economically vulnerable.” — Jerry Bowyer

SBVOR said...

GRASSROOTS AMERICAN VALUES,

Thank you for rescuing this thread from the sandbox!

The analysis you provided is, objectively speaking, absolutely correct.

When unemployment jumped from 5.0% to 5.5%, I heard the same analysis (even from the MSM). That is why, rather than comment on the jump in the main body of this post, I made a note to myself to watch for any reaction which would suggest that it turned out to be an event which would warrant any note at all.

Thus far, your analysis seems to have carried the day. And, all evidence suggests the number will drop next month.

1) The report was released on 6/6/08.

2) Since 6/6/08, the odds of a 2008 recession, as expressed at Intrade has dropped from 32% to 28%. On the date of the release, the odds remained unchanged at 32%.

3) Since 6/6/08, the professionals at The Conference Board have not adjusted their economic forecast. They continue to predict the unemployment rate for Q2 will average out to 5.0%. This would imply that they expect the unemployment rate to drop a full percentage point in June (down to 4.5%).

So, while some would accuse me of ignoring negative information, the simple truth is that, up until now, I have chosen to ignore inconsequential information. Inconsequential, that is, except for those victims of The Democratic Party who must now settle for government “assistance” rather than gainful employment (bureaucrats always love to expand their empire and the ranks of those who are dependent upon their “generosity”).

Ironically, I have, of late, been doing battle in the blogspot of a certain individual who boasts on his resume of having:

“headed the [Clinton] administration’s successful effort to raise the minimum wage”

Thank you again!

Please comment as often as you like.

Veritas Mansuras said...

Thanks, great info on your page, I will place your blogs address in my link location and I noted your correction to my page in a new entry.

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