We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Today, the first of two GDP revisions was issued. It was revised down from 2.5% to 2.0%. Revisions are a natural part of our economic reporting structure. We can't get all the data in a timely fashion, so certain guesses are made regarding the data that is missing when initial results go out. 'Guesses' should be incorrect. 'Estimates' would be the correct term.
It's not unusual for data to be revised downward, and it's not unusual for revisions to get little fanfare. What is unusual is the consistent nature of the downward revisions we have seen over the last few years and how little attention this receives.
I'm sure the bureaucrats view their 'guesses' as 'estimates'. But I wouldn't be surprised if they have been told to paint a pretty picture, within reason. Few of the downward revisions have been outlandish. Given the nature of the economy the past few years, however, wouldn't it make sense to have a slightly more negative outlook on the initial print?
No, because the initial print is what gets all the press and it's what everyone will pay attention to. Politics isn't supposed to alter the economic reporting, but in this administration it has taken a decidedly political turn.
I agree with Sam. I've never been so shocked, and I demand we see Bulldog's birth certificate so we know he's really an American. I heard he was born in the sovereign nation of "Hawai'i", also referred to as a "state" in older history books.
Bulldog: Change the two instances of the word "economic" to "global warming" and you've got another post. :)
I am covered with all that sarcasm that has dripped from both responses...so I'll take a shower.
What's at issue here isn't surprise or anger. It's honesty and proper economics/business. Part of the reason these reports are supposed to be unbiased (and usually have been in the past) is so business people can do their modeling a bit more effectively.
When there is a 20% swing in estimates of growth, that's much more than a standard deviation, and therefore is statistically significant. It's hard to miss estimates when the difference is likely to be statistically significant.
Yet this isn't just a one time thing. It's an everyday thing right now. That means it's a huge problem and doesn't fall into the "oops" arena. It falls into the "propaganda" arena.
Sure, we all know/believe that Obama is messing about with anything he can, so we shouldn't be shocked. We shouldn't be. But where is the press coverage?
I'd expect the MSM to ignore this problem, but I rarely see mention of this issue from the right wingers.
In fact, I've only seen it on Zero Hedge, and they've been harping on this for the last 2 years. Unfortunately, there are so many tin-foil hat types there, it's easy to ignore them at times.
So, I'm putting on my tin-foil hat and saying (probably for the first time ever) that the poor initial statistics coming from the BEA and Commerce are a deliberate political conspiracy to try and talk up the economy.
Can't stand conspiracies. But this one is just getting annoying. You have to wait 3 months before the data is even moderately reliable.
Perhaps it's my imagination. Seems to me that during Dem administrations the initial figures have to be revised down. During Repub, down. The media makes a big deal of the initial #s. The revisions are mentioned as an afterthought.
Perhaps it's my imagination. Seems to me that during Dem administrations the initial figures have to be revised up. During Repub, down. The media makes a big deal of the initial #s. The revisions are mentioned as an afterthought.