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"Bringing the measurements of critical economic activities into the twenty-first century by
mining tracking data for an understanding of what American consumers were doing yesterday."


Monthly Weighted Composite Consumer Leading Indicator for Past 48 Months



Monthly Weighted Composite Consumer Leading Indicator for Past 48 Months


Last 10 Monthly Index Values
Date:10/201411/201412/201401/201502/201503/201504/201505/201506/201507/2015
Value:95.4897.56100.2799.2799.2898.8098.8597.9899.77100.31


Daily Growth Index Past 60 Days


 Daily Growth Index Past 60 Days(1): 
 
Chart
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 Notes:
  (1) The daily values for the Consumer Metrics Institute's 91-day 'Trailing Quarter' Growth Index over the past 60 days. Please see our Frequently Asked Questions page for a more complete description of our Growth Index.


 


Daily Growth Index -vs- Full GDP Past 48 Months


 Growth Index -vs- Full GDP, Past 4 Years(2): 
 
Chart
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 Notes:
  (2) The Consumer Metrics Institute's 91-day 'Trailing Quarter' Growth Index -vs- BEA's Quarterly Full GDP Growth Rates over past 4 years. The quarterly GDP growth rates are shown as 3-month plateaus in the graph. The Consumer Metrics Institute's Growth Index is plotted as a monthly average.


 


BEA's "Real" GDP -vs- BPP Deflated "Nominal" GDP, Past 4 Years


 BEA "Real" GDP -vs- BPP Deflated "Nominal" GDP, Past 4 Years(3,4): 
 
Chart
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 Notes:
  (3) In the blue line above the BEA's nominal GDP has been deflated using the inflation rate measured by the Billion Prices Project (BPP) index.
  (4) Note that when deflating the line items in the GDP tables from the BEA it is important to treat the "nominal" import and export data as the effective net "real" data -- since there are no offsetting domestic transactions carrying the correspondingly inflated or deflated prices (i.e., the one-sided net impact of inflating imported commodities is "real" to the economy). The net consequences of inflating import prices may become material in times of substantial and sustained trade imbalances.


 


BEA's "Real" GDP -vs- BLS Deflated Per-Capita GDP, Past 4 Years


 BEA "Real" GDP -vs- BLS Deflated Per-Capita GDP, Past 4 Years(5): 
 
Chart
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 Notes:
  (5) Line items in the BEA's nominal GDP are deflated by either the Bureau of Labor Statistic's (BLS) CPI-U index or the BLS PPI index, and reported on a per-capita basis by using Census Bureau projected mid-quarter population data.


 


BEA's "Real" GDP -vs- BLS Deflated Per-Capita Disposable Income, Past 4 Years


 BEA "Real" GDP -vs- BLS Deflated Per-Capita Disposable Income, Past 4 Years(6): 
 
Chart
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 Notes:
  (6) Line items in the BEA's Disposable Personal Income report are deflated by the Bureau of Labor Statistic's (BLS) CPI-U index and reported on a per-capita basis by using Census Bureau projected mid-quarter population data.


 


BEA's "Real" GDP -vs- BLS Deflated Per-Capita Proprietors Income, Past 4 Years


 BEA "Real" GDP -vs- BLS Deflated Per-Capita Proprietor Income, Past 4 Years(7): 
 
Chart
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 Notes:
  (7) The Proprietors' income (with inventory valuation and capital consumption adjustments) line from the BEA's Disposable Personal Income report are deflated by the Bureau of Labor Statistic's (BLS) CPI-U index and reported on a per-capita basis by using Census Bureau projected mid-quarter population data.


 

Commentary


     
  August 27, 2015 - BEA Revises 2nd Quarter 2015 GDP Growth Upward to 3.70%:

In their second estimate of the US GDP for the second quarter of 2015, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported that the economy was growing at a 3.70% annualized rate, up +1.38% from their previous estimate and up +3.06% from the first quarter.

This report included significant upward revisions to the growth rate contributions from commercial fixed investment (revised upward +0.52%), inventories (up +0.30%) and government spending (up +0.33%). Consumer spending was revised upward a more modest +0.13%, and the net impact of exports and imports was also revised upward +0.10%.

Real annualized per capita disposable income was reported to be $37,843 per annum, down $3 per year from the last estimate. The household savings rate was unchanged at 4.8% -- still down -0.4% from the prior quarter's 5.2% rate.

For this revision the BEA assumed an annualized deflator of 2.07%. During the same quarter (April 2015 through June 2015) the inflation recorded by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in their CPI-U index was 3.52%. Under estimating inflation results in optimistic growth rates, and if the BEA's "nominal" data was deflated using CPI-U inflation information the headline number would show a more modest +2.33% growth rate.

Among the notable items in the report :

-- The headline contribution from consumer expenditures for goods was +1.19% (up +0.15% from the previous estimate).

-- The contribution to the headline from consumer services decreased slightly to +0.93% (down -0.02% from the previous report). The combined consumer contribution to the headline number was 2.12%, up +0.13% from the first estimate.

-- The headline contribution from commercial private fixed investments was revised upward to +0.66% -- up an impressive +0.52% from earlier report.

-- Inventories changed from a mild contraction to a modest growth, providing +0.22% of the headline number (up +0.30% from the previous estimate).

-- Governmental spending added +0.47% to the headline (up +0.33% from the earlier report). The revised growth was almost entirely in state and local infrastructure investment.

-- Exports were slightly down from the last estimate, but still added +0.65% to the headline number (down -0.02% from the first estimate).

-- Imports subtracted less from the headline number (-0.42%) than previously reported (an improvement of +0.12%).

-- The "real final sales of domestic product" is now reported to be growing at a +3.48% annualized rate. This is the BEA's "bottom line" measurement of the economy and it excludes the reported inventory growth.

-- And as mentioned above, real per-capita annual disposable income was revised slightly downward and the household savings rate was unchanged. The real per-capita annual disposable income is up only +3.18% in aggregate since the second quarter of 2008 -- an annualized +0.45% growth over the past 28 quarters.




The Numbers, As Revised

As a quick reminder, the classic definition of the GDP can be summarized with the following equation :

GDP = private consumption + gross private investment + government spending + (exports - imports)


or, as it is commonly expressed in algebraic shorthand :

GDP = C + I + G + (X-M)


In the new report the values for that equation (total dollars, percentage of the total GDP, and contribution to the final percentage growth number) are as follows :

GDP Components Table

Total GDP = C + I + G + (X-M)
Annual $ (trillions) $17.9 = $12.2 + $3.0 + $3.2 + $-0.5
% of GDP 100.0% = 68.2% + 16.9% + 17.8% + -2.9%
Contribution to GDP Growth % 3.70% = 2.12% + 0.88% + 0.47% + 0.23%


The quarter-to-quarter changes in the contributions that various components make to the overall GDP can be best understood from the table below, which breaks out the component contributions in more detail and over time. In the table below we have split the "C" component into goods and services, split the "I" component into fixed investment and inventories, separated exports from imports, added a line for the BEA's "Real Final Sales of Domestic Product" and listed the quarters in columns with the most current to the left :

Quarterly Changes in % Contributions to GDP

2Q-2015 1Q-2015 4Q-2014 3Q-2014 2Q-2014 1Q-2014 4Q-2013 3Q-2013 2Q-2013 1Q-2013 4Q-2012 3Q-2012 2Q-2012 1Q-2012
Total GDP Growth 3.70% 0.64% 2.07% 4.27% 4.56% -0.91% 3.82% 2.98% 1.11% 1.91% 0.10% 0.50% 1.89% 2.67%
Consumer Goods 1.19% 0.25% 0.91% 0.91% 1.49% 0.25% 0.70% 0.60% 0.28% 1.39% 0.53% 0.63% 0.26% 1.11%
Consumer Services 0.93% 0.94% 1.95% 1.42% 1.11% 0.61% 1.66% 0.57% 0.68% 0.36% 0.25% 0.10% 0.20% 0.52%
Fixed Investment 0.66% 0.52% 0.39% 1.23% 0.87% 0.91% 0.79% 0.59% 0.40% 0.77% 1.03% 0.00% 0.98% 2.00%
Inventories 0.22% 0.87% -0.03% -0.01% 1.12% -1.29% -0.08% 1.48% 0.38% 0.28% -1.54% -0.18% 0.56% -0.53%
Government 0.47% -0.01% -0.26% 0.33% 0.21% 0.00% -0.51% -0.42% -0.38% -0.88% -0.75% -0.22% -0.39% -0.40%
Exports 0.65% -0.81% 0.71% 0.24% 1.28% -0.95% 1.42% 0.55% 0.64% 0.12% -0.07% 0.27% 0.61% 0.37%
Imports -0.42% -1.12% -1.60% 0.15% -1.52% -0.44% -0.16% -0.39% -0.89% -0.13% 0.65% -0.10% -0.33% -0.40%
Real Final Sales 3.48% -0.23% 2.10% 4.28% 3.44% 0.38% 3.90% 1.50% 0.73% 1.63% 1.64% 0.68% 1.33% 3.20%





Summary and Commentary

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?
 
     
     
  July 30, 2015 - BEA Reports 2nd Quarter 2015 GDP Growing at 2.32%:

In their first estimate of the US GDP for the second quarter of 2015, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported that the economy was growing at a 2.32% annualized rate, up +1.68% from a revised +0.64% growth rate for the first quarter (and up over 2.49% from the -0.17% contraction rate previously reported).

The revision to the first quarter's "final estimate" was accompanied by revisions to all quarters back through 2012. On average the revisions trimmed about a quarter of a percent (-0.22%) from previously reported growth rates. However, several quarters were more materially revised -- with nearly -2.0% shaved off the growth rate for the third quarter of 2012, and another -1.5% removed from the grow rate previously reported for the third quarter of 2013. A table showing all of the revisions to the historic headline numbers is provided below.

For the newly reported second quarter nearly all of the BEA's major categories of economic activity had positive contributions to the headline number. Consumer goods contributed +1.04% to the headline, while consumer services added +0.95%. Exports provided +0.67% (up +1.48% from a revised -0.79% contraction in the prior quarter), while imports removed only -0.54% from the headline (some +0.58% better than the revised -1.10% impact in the first quarter). Fixed investment provided a positive contribution (+0.14%), as did governmental spending (also +0.14%). Inventories were nearly unchanged (-0.08%), resulting in a +2.40% growth rate for the BEA's "bottom line" real final sales of domestic product.

Real annualized per capita disposable income was reported to be $37,846, some -$364 per year less than the previously reported $38,210 per annum. All of that downside came as a result of revisions to the prior quarter's data, which was revised downward by -$437 (over a full percent). Meanwhile, the household savings rate plunged to 4.8% -- down -0.7% from the previously reported 5.5%.

For this revision the BEA assumed an annualized deflator of 2.04%. During the same quarter (April 2015 through June 2015) the inflation recorded by BLS in their CPI-U index was 3.52%. Under estimating inflation results in optimistic growth rates, and if the BEA's "nominal" data was deflated using CPI-U inflation information the headline number would show a more modest +0.89% growth rate.

Among the notable items in the report :

-- The headline contribution from consumer expenditures for goods was +1.04% (up +0.79% from the prior quarter).

-- The contribution to the headline from consumer services increased slightly to +0.95%. The combined consumer contribution to the headline number was 1.99%, up +0.80% from the prior quarter.

-- Commercial private fixed investments added +0.14% to the headline number -- down -0.38% from a revised +0.52% growth in the prior quarter. This drop occurred primarily in spending for commercial structures and IT equipment, while growth was reported in transportation equipment, residential construction and intellectual property.

-- Inventory contraction removed a relatively modest -0.08% from the headline number (down -0.95% from the revised prior quarter).

-- Governmental spending added +0.14% to the headline (up +0.15% from a revised -0.01% for the previous quarter). The growth was entirely at the state and local level.

-- Exports rebounded significantly from the prior quarter's contraction, adding +0.67% to the headline number (up +1.48% from the revised data for the prior quarter).

-- Imports subtracted less from the headline number (-0.54%) than in the prior quarter.

-- The "real final sales of domestic product" is now growing at a +2.40% annualized rate. This is the BEA's "bottom line" measurement of the economy and it excludes the reported minor inventory contraction.

-- And as mentioned above, real per-capita annual disposable income plunged in this report relative to previously published data. This particular data series was severely impacted by the historic revisions. The real per-capita annual disposable income is up only +3.19% in aggregate since the second quarter of 2008 -- an annualized +0.45% growth over the past 28 quarters.




The Numbers, With Extensive Historic Revisions

As a quick reminder, the classic definition of the GDP can be summarized with the following equation :

GDP = private consumption + gross private investment + government spending + (exports - imports)


or, as it is commonly expressed in algebraic shorthand :

GDP = C + I + G + (X-M)


In the new report the values for that equation (total dollars, percentage of the total GDP, and contribution to the final percentage growth number) are as follows :

GDP Components Table

Total GDP = C + I + G + (X-M)
Annual $ (trillions) $17.8 = $12.2 + $3.0 + $3.2 + $-0.5
% of GDP 100.0% = 68.4% + 16.8% + 17.7% + -2.9%
Contribution to GDP Growth % 2.32% = 1.99% + 0.06% + 0.14% + 0.13%


The quarter-to-quarter changes in the contributions that various components make to the overall GDP can be best understood from the table below, which breaks out the component contributions in more detail and over time. In the table below we have split the "C" component into goods and services, split the "I" component into fixed investment and inventories, separated exports from imports, added a line for the BEA's "Real Final Sales of Domestic Product" and listed the quarters in columns with the most current to the left :

Quarterly Changes in % Contributions to GDP

2Q-2015 1Q-2015 4Q-2014 3Q-2014 2Q-2014 1Q-2014 4Q-2013 3Q-2013 2Q-2013 1Q-2013 4Q-2012 3Q-2012 2Q-2012 1Q-2012
Total GDP Growth 2.32% 0.64% 2.07% 4.27% 4.56% -0.91% 3.82% 2.98% 1.11% 1.91% 0.10% 0.50% 1.89% 2.67%
Consumer Goods 1.04% 0.25% 0.91% 0.91% 1.49% 0.25% 0.70% 0.60% 0.28% 1.39% 0.53% 0.63% 0.26% 1.11%
Consumer Services 0.95% 0.94% 1.95% 1.42% 1.11% 0.61% 1.66% 0.57% 0.68% 0.36% 0.25% 0.10% 0.20% 0.52%
Fixed Investment 0.14% 0.52% 0.39% 1.23% 0.87% 0.91% 0.79% 0.59% 0.40% 0.77% 1.03% 0.00% 0.98% 2.00%
Inventories -0.08% 0.87% -0.03% -0.01% 1.12% -1.29% -0.08% 1.48% 0.38% 0.28% -1.54% -0.18% 0.56% -0.53%
Government 0.14% -0.01% -0.26% 0.33% 0.21% 0.00% -0.51% -0.42% -0.38% -0.88% -0.75% -0.22% -0.39% -0.40%
Exports 0.67% -0.81% 0.71% 0.24% 1.28% -0.95% 1.42% 0.55% 0.64% 0.12% -0.07% 0.27% 0.61% 0.37%
Imports -0.54% -1.12% -1.60% 0.15% -1.52% -0.44% -0.16% -0.39% -0.89% -0.13% 0.65% -0.10% -0.33% -0.40%
Real Final Sales 2.40% -0.23% 2.10% 4.28% 3.44% 0.38% 3.90% 1.50% 0.73% 1.63% 1.64% 0.68% 1.33% 3.20%





The revision to the 1st quarter numbers was part of a comprehensive restatement of historic GDP numbers from 2012 through the first quarter of 2015. Some of the revisions were the result of better data, while other revisions were the result of methodology changes. The restatements are as follows :

BEA's Revisions to US Economic Growth

Quarter New Rate Prior Rate Net Change
1Q-2015 0.64% -0.17% +0.81%
4Q-2014 2.07% 2.22% -0.15%
3Q-2014 4.27% 4.96% -0.69%
2Q-2014 4.56% 4.59% -0.03%
1Q-2014 -0.91% -2.11% +1.20%
4Q-2013 3.82% 3.50% +0.32%
3Q-2013 2.98% 4.51% -1.53%
2Q-2013 1.11% 1.77% -0.66%
1Q-2013 1.91% 2.75% -0.84%
4Q-2012 0.10% 0.06% +0.04%
3Q-2012 0.50% 2.48% -1.98%
2Q-2012 1.89% 1.62% +0.27%
1Q-2012 2.67% 2.25% +0.42%





Summary and Commentary

Our observations this month are focused on the BEA's revisions to the historic data:

-- The revisions follow a recent annual pattern of the BEA revising historic quarterly growth rates lower. This revision removed -0.22% on average from previously reported growth rates, while the 2014 revisions removed -0.19% on average from the then previously published growth rates (and another -0.09% was removed on average in 2013). The cumulative impact of the successive hair-cuts has reduced historic growth rates by an average approaching one half percent relative to "final" headline numbers -- representing an optimistic bias of about a half percent in the BEA's "final" estimates. It is worth noting that this optimistic bias has been getting progressively worse.

-- Especially hard hit in the revisions were the real per-capita disposable income numbers. The cumulative compound annualized growth rate for real disposable income has been only +0.45% since the second quarter of 2008. And these figures represent mean incomes that are skewed by disproportionate growth at the upper end. According to Sentier Research, median incomes during the same time span have contracted by roughly 4%.

-- And household savings rates have been weaker than previously suspected, confirming the lower incomes.

A conclusion from the above? The BEA has been persistently optimistic about the "Great Recovery" while the median household has been hammered. Sadly, nothing in this report suggests that things are getting better.
 
     
     
  June 24, 2015 - BEA Revises 1st Quarter 2015 GDP Contraction to -0.17%:

In their third estimate of the US GDP for the first quarter of 2015, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported that the economy was contracting at a -0.17% annualized rate, up over a half percent from the -0.75% estimated only last month, but still down sharply (-2.39%) from the +2.22% growth rate recorded for the prior quarter. And according to the "real final sales of domestic product" (BEA's very own "bottom line" for the economy), the economy shrank at a -0.62% rate during the quarter, down -2.94% from last quarter's +2.32%.

Nearly all of the BEA's major categories of economic activity had their contributions to the headline number revised upward: exports were tweaked upward by +0.24%, fixed investment +0.16%, consumer spending on goods +0.12%, inventories +0.12%, governmental spending +0.09%, and consumer spending on services +0.08%. Only imports rained on the upward revision parade, subtracting an additional -0.23% from the headline number.

Real annualized per capita disposable income was unchanged at $38,210 per annum. Meanwhile, the household savings rate decreased slightly to 5.4%, accounting for the modest upward revisions to consumer spending.

For this revision the BEA assumed a very mild dis-inflationary annualized deflator of -0.06%. Interestingly, during the same quarter the far more responsive Billion Prices Project (BPP) recorded positive annualized inflation of +1.56%. If the BPP inflation metric was used to deflate the nominal BEA data the economy could be shown to be contracting at a more than -1.79% annualized rate.

Among the notable items in the report :

-- The headline contribution from consumer expenditures for goods was +0.22% (down -0.85% from the prior quarter).

-- The contribution to the headline from consumer services spending increased to +1.21% (while still down -0.70% from the previous quarter). Healthcare spending alone provided +0.62% to the headline number. The combined consumer contribution to the headline number was 1.43%, down -1.55% from the prior quarter.

-- Mildly contracting commercial private fixed investments removed -0.05% from the headline number -- down -0.77% from the fourth quarter of 2014. This drop occurred primarily in spending for commercial structures and IT equipment. Some growth was reported in transportation equipment, residential construction and intellectual property.

-- Inventory growth added +0.45% to the headline number (up +0.55% from the previous quarter). Once again it is important to note that this number has logically and historically been nearly zero-sum over extended time periods, and future mean reversion to the zero sum should be expected.

-- Governmental spending removed -0.11% from the headline (up +0.24% from the -0.35% for the previous quarter). The remaining contraction was entirely the result of decreased state and local spending on infrastructure.

-- Exports are suffering from the strong dollar, and are now reported to be subtracting -0.79% from the headline growth rate (down -1.38% from the previous quarter).

-- Imports subtracted more from the headline number (-1.10%) than previously reported, yet their negative impact was still less than during the prior quarter (-1.62%).

-- The "real final sales of domestic product" is now contracting at a -0.62% annualized rate. This is the BEA's "bottom line" measurement of the economy and it excludes the reported inventory growth.

-- And as mentioned above, real per-capita annual disposable income was unchanged in this report, and it is up $432 per year quarter-to-quarter. The reported number represents an annualized growth rate of +4.65%. But it is up only +4.18% in aggregate since the second quarter of 2008 -- an annualized +0.61% growth over the past 26 quarters.




The Numbers, As Revised

As a quick reminder, the classic definition of the GDP can be summarized with the following equation :

GDP = private consumption + gross private investment + government spending + (exports - imports)


or, as it is commonly expressed in algebraic shorthand :

GDP = C + I + G + (X-M)


In the new report the values for that equation (total dollars, percentage of the total GDP, and contribution to the final percentage growth number) are as follows :

GDP Components Table

Total GDP = C + I + G + (X-M)
Annual $ (trillions) $17.7 = $12.1 + $3.0 + $3.2 + $-0.6
% of GDP 100.0% = 68.5% + 16.7% + 17.9% + -3.2%
Contribution to GDP Growth % -0.175% = 1.43% + 0.40% + -0.11% + -1.89%


The quarter-to-quarter changes in the contributions that various components make to the overall GDP can be best understood from the table below, which breaks out the component contributions in more detail and over time. In the table below we have split the "C" component into goods and services, split the "I" component into fixed investment and inventories, separated exports from imports, added a line for the BEA's "Real Final Sales of Domestic Product" and listed the quarters in columns with the most current to the left :

Quarterly Changes in % Contributions to GDP

1Q-2015 4Q-2014 3Q-2014 2Q-2014 1Q-2014 4Q-2013 3Q-2013 2Q-2013 1Q-2013 4Q-2012 3Q-2012 2Q-2012 1Q-2012
Total GDP Growth -0.17% 2.22% 4.96% 4.59% -2.11% 3.50% 4.51% 1.77% 2.75% 0.06% 2.48% 1.62% 2.25%
Consumer Goods 0.22% 1.07% 1.06% 1.33% 0.23% 0.83% 0.80% 0.30% 1.35% 0.67% 0.74% 0.29% 1.06%
Consumer Services 1.21% 1.91% 1.15% 0.42% 0.60% 1.69% 0.59% 0.93% 1.11% 0.65% 0.58% 0.57% 0.81%
Fixed Investment -0.05% 0.72% 1.21% 1.45% 0.03% 0.95% 1.01% 0.74% 0.42% 0.96% 0.45% 0.61% 1.24%
Inventories 0.45% -0.10% -0.03% 1.42% -1.16% -0.34% 1.49% 0.30% 0.70% -1.80% -0.19% 0.27% -0.20%
Government -0.11% -0.35% 0.80% 0.31% -0.15% -0.71% 0.04% 0.04% -0.75% -1.20% 0.52% -0.08% -0.56%
Exports -0.79% 0.59% 0.61% 1.43% -1.30% 1.30% 0.67% 0.82% -0.12% 0.19% 0.28% 0.64% 0.19%
Imports -1.10% -1.62% 0.16% -1.77% -0.36% -0.22% -0.09% -1.36% 0.04% 0.59% 0.10% -0.68% -0.29%
Real Final Sales -0.62% 2.32% 4.99% 3.17% -0.95% 3.84% 3.02% 1.47% 2.05% 1.86% 2.67% 1.35% 2.45%





Summary and Commentary

Some thoughts on an otherwise uninspiring sort of report:

-- This revision changes the sound bite for the first quarter from "material contraction" to "essentially neutral." Unfortunately, while this report is certainly nothing to get excited about (and it is still subject to significant future revisions), an essentially "neutral" reading merely serves to justify further extensions of entrenched economic policies. In the sporting vernacular: no harm, no foul.

-- Furthermore, extrapolating already reported 2nd quarter 2015 data into the BEA's GDP model indicates that the BEA's initial reading for 2Q-2015 growth could plausibly to be in the +2% range -- providing yet more proof that the current policies are working brilliantly.

-- The sound bite switches back to "material contraction" when the pesky inventory noise is filtered out.

-- Although real annualized per capita disposable income has shown a nice quarter-to-quarter improvement, that improvement needs to develop into a legitimate trend. The numbers are even more stark when we disregard averages that have been lifted from the high end and instead concentrate on median households -- where income is still off roughly 5% from the 2008 peak. The current "recovery" has occurred without much in the way of median household participation -- simply because median households have very little direct access to the benevolence of central banking's stimulation tools.

This all begs the question: what are the differences between "neutral", "stagnant" and "Japanified"?
 
     
     
  May 29, 2015 - BEA Reveals that 1st Quarter 2015 GDP Shrank at -0.75%:

In their second estimate of the US GDP for the first quarter of 2015, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported that the economy was contracting at a -0.75% annualized rate, down a full percent from the +0.25% estimated last month, and down sharply (-2.97%) from the +2.22% growth rate recorded for the prior quarter. And according to the "real final sales of domestic product" (BEA's very own "bottom line" for the economy), the economy shrank at more than a percent (-1.08%) during the quarter, down -3.40% from last quarter's +2.32%.

A look at the details provides little comfort. The already anemic consumer spending on goods improved a smidgen to +0.10% annualized growth, and fixed commercial investment also improved -- although only to a "less bad" contraction rate of -0.21% (from -0.40%). All other changes made the report awash with red: imports were revised downward significantly (a -0.58% decline), inventory growth was weaker by -0.41%, consumer spending on services dropped -0.13%, government spending was -0.05% lower and the contribution from exports declined -0.07%.

Real annualized per capita disposable income was also revised downward by -$25 (now reported to be $38,210 per annum). Meanwhile, the household savings rate was unchanged at 5.5% (the highest rate since the fourth quarter of 2012), which accounts to a large extent for the continued sluggish consumer spending.

For this report the BEA assumed a mild dis-inflationary annualized deflator of -0.12%. Interestingly, during the same quarter the far more responsive Billion Prices Project (BPP) recorded mild positive inflation. If the BPP inflation metric was used to deflate the nominal BEA data the economy could be shown to be contracting at a more than -2.69% annualized rate.

Among the notable items in the report :

-- The headline contribution from consumer expenditures for goods was +0.10% (down -0.97% from the prior quarter).

-- The contribution to the headline from consumer services spending decreased to +1.13% (down -0.78% from the previous quarter). Healthcare spending alone provided +0.60% to the headline number. The combined consumer contribution to the headline number was 1.23%, down -1.75% from the prior quarter.

-- Contracting commercial private fixed investments removed -0.21% from the headline number -- down nearly a full percent (-0.93%) from the fourth quarter of 2014. This drop occurred in spending for structures, industrial equipment and IT equipment. Some growth was reported in transportation equipment and intellectual property.

-- Inventory growth added +0.33% to the headline number (up +0.43% from the previous quarter). Once again it is important to note that this number has logically and historically been nearly zero-sum over extended time periods, and future mean reversion to the zero sum should be expected.

-- Governmental spending removed -0.20% from the headline (up +0.15% from the -0.35% for the previous quarter). The remaining contraction was largely the result of decreased state and local spending on infrastructure.

-- Exports are suffering from the strong dollar, and are now reported to be subtracting -1.03% from the headline growth rate (down -1.62% from the previous quarter).

-- Imports subtracted substantially less from the headline number (-0.87%) than during the prior quarter (-1.62%) -- also an expected consequence of the stronger dollar.

-- The "real final sales of domestic product" is now contracting at a -1.08% annualized rate. This is the BEA's "bottom line" measurement of the economy and it excludes the reported inventory growth.

-- And as mentioned above, real per-capita annual was revised downward in this report, but it is still up $432 per year quarter-to-quarter. The new number represents an annualized growth rate of +4.65%. But it is up only +4.18% in aggregate since the second quarter of 2008 -- an annualized +0.61% growth over the past 26 quarters. The reported softening growth in consumer spending is a consequence of a significant increase in household savings -- i.e., most of that $432 quarter-to-quarter growth went into savings.




The Numbers, As Revised

As a quick reminder, the classic definition of the GDP can be summarized with the following equation :

GDP = private consumption + gross private investment + government spending + (exports - imports)


or, as it is commonly expressed in algebraic shorthand :

GDP = C + I + G + (X-M)


In the new report the values for that equation (total dollars, percentage of the total GDP, and contribution to the final percentage growth number) are as follows :

GDP Components Table

Total GDP = C + I + G + (X-M)
Annual $ (trillions) $17.7 = $12.1 + $2.9 + $3.2 + $-0.6
% of GDP 100.0% = 68.6% + 16.7% + 17.9% + -3.2%
Contribution to GDP Growth % -0.75% = 1.23% + 0.12% + -0.20% + -1.90%


The quarter-to-quarter changes in the contributions that various components make to the overall GDP can be best understood from the table below, which breaks out the component contributions in more detail and over time. In the table below we have split the "C" component into goods and services, split the "I" component into fixed investment and inventories, separated exports from imports, added a line for the BEA's "Real Final Sales of Domestic Product" and listed the quarters in columns with the most current to the left :

Quarterly Changes in % Contributions to GDP

1Q-2015 4Q-2014 3Q-2014 2Q-2014 1Q-2014 4Q-2013 3Q-2013 2Q-2013 1Q-2013 4Q-2012 3Q-2012 2Q-2012 1Q-2012
Total GDP Growth -0.75% 2.22% 4.96% 4.59% -2.11% 3.50% 4.51% 1.77% 2.75% 0.06% 2.48% 1.62% 2.25%
Consumer Goods 0.10% 1.07% 1.06% 1.33% 0.23% 0.83% 0.80% 0.30% 1.35% 0.67% 0.74% 0.29% 1.06%
Consumer Services 1.13% 1.91% 1.15% 0.42% 0.60% 1.69% 0.59% 0.93% 1.11% 0.65% 0.58% 0.57% 0.81%
Fixed Investment -0.21% 0.72% 1.21% 1.45% 0.03% 0.95% 1.01% 0.74% 0.42% 0.96% 0.45% 0.61% 1.24%
Inventories 0.33% -0.10% -0.03% 1.42% -1.16% -0.34% 1.49% 0.30% 0.70% -1.80% -0.19% 0.27% -0.20%
Government -0.20% -0.35% 0.80% 0.31% -0.15% -0.71% 0.04% 0.04% -0.75% -1.20% 0.52% -0.08% -0.56%
Exports -1.03% 0.59% 0.61% 1.43% -1.30% 1.30% 0.67% 0.82% -0.12% 0.19% 0.28% 0.64% 0.19%
Imports -0.87% -1.62% 0.16% -1.77% -0.36% -0.22% -0.09% -1.36% 0.04% 0.59% 0.10% -0.68% -0.29%
Real Final Sales -1.08% 2.32% 4.99% 3.17% -0.95% 3.84% 3.02% 1.47% 2.05% 1.86% 2.67% 1.35% 2.45%





Summary and Commentary

We had trouble writing the headline for this report. We ultimately chose the more politically neutral phrase "BEA Reveals that ..." in lieu of the probably more accurate "BEA Admits that ..." for the headline. Cynically minded observers have often claimed that the BEA manipulates the first estimate for any quarter to lead future expectations in the right direction -- while not fully disclosing pending bad news. Although last month's first estimate was just barely positive, it was far enough below the expectations of most economists to send a clear warning that even worse numbers will soon be forthcoming. It just seems that the full truth is too painful for full initial disclosure.

It reminds us of the Lucy Ricardo character never divulging the full extent of her latest disaster when first asked. It is only after Ricky inevitably says "Lucy, you have some 'splaining to do" that the full truth is revealed.

We should expect (dare we say "demand"?) better transparency from a Federal agency that is tasked with tracking the state of the economy -- an agency which, unlike Lucy, is not itself culpable for the bad news. The BEA explains that they are working with largely incomplete data some 30 days after the end of the quarter (a situation which may have been acceptable in 1936, but is arguably unacceptable in 2015 -- an era of microsecond transactions and real-time settlements). But even in a state of incomplete data (for which they are culpable) they certainly know the tendencies in their sadly lagging data -- and therefore they should be capable of better extrapolating where things actually were at the end of the quarter. Instead they seem to take the happiest assumptions available, knowing that they have months (and ultimately years) to finally get the view in the rear mirror correct. Unfortunately, economic decisions are often made from that badly distorted rear-view mirror.

Perhaps the most discouraging aspect of this report is the extent to which many economists were surprised. Perhaps it is they who have "some 'splaining to do."
 
     
     
  April 29, 2015 - BEA Reports Weak 1st Quarter 2015 GDP Growth at 0.25%:

In their first estimate of the US GDP for the first quarter of 2015, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported that the economy was growing at a +0.25% annualized rate, down sharply (-1.97%) from the +2.22% growth rate recorded for the prior quarter. And according to the "real final sales of domestic product" (BEA's very own "bottom line" for the economy), the economy actually shrank during the quarter, contracting at about a half percent (-0.49%) annualized rate, down -2.81% from last quarter's +2.32%. The difference between the headline number and "final sales" is inventory growth, which is excluded from the "bottom line" figure.

Nearly all of the critical lines items in the report were worse than during the previous quarter. Consumer spending for goods grew at a minuscule +0.05% annualized rate (down over a percent from the +1.07% growth during the fourth quarter of 2014), while consumer spending for services also showed weaker growth at +1.26% (with most of that growth in non-discretionary healthcare, housing and utilities), down some -0.65% from the +1.91% reported for 4Q-2014. Fixed investment was in outright contraction (-0.40%, down over a percent from the +0.72% growth recorded for the fourth quarter). And the worst performance was delivered by exports, which shrank at a -0.96% annualized rate -- down -1.55% from the prior quarter's rate, and clearly hammered by a strong dollar.

Inventory growth was the bright spot in this report (per the BEA's logic that ballooning inventories are mathematically good for the GDP and therefore good for the economy), contributing +0.74% to the headline number. The flip side of the strong dollar also helped imports to subtract less from the headline number (-0.29%, compared with -1.62% in 4Q-2014). And government spending contracted at a slower -0.15% annualized rate, thereby boosting the headline number by +0.20%.

Real annualized per capita disposable income increased by a significant $506 (now reported to be $38,235 per annum). This is the largest quarter to quarter growth since the fourth quarter of 2012, and it is the first time that real annualized per capita disposable income has reported cumulative net growth over the nine quarters since then. The household savings rate soared +0.9% to 5.5% (once again, the highest rate since the fourth quarter of 2012), which accounts to a large extent for the reported sluggish consumer spending.

During the first quarter of 2015 (i.e., from January through March) the seasonally adjusted CPI-U index published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) was dis-inflationary at a -0.92% (annualized) rate. For this report the BEA assumed a very mildly dis-inflationary annualized deflator of -0.11%. Under reported dis-inflation will result in a more pessimistic headline, and if the BEA's "nominal" numbers were corrected for inflation using the line-item appropriate BLS CPI-U and PPI indexes, the economy would be reported to be growing at a much higher 3.10% annualized rate. Interestingly, during the same quarter the far more responsive Billion Prices Project (BPP) recorded mild positive inflation. If the BPP inflation metric was used to deflate the nominal BEA data the economy could be shown to be contracting at a more than -1.50% annualized rate.

Among the notable items in the report :

-- The headline contribution from consumer expenditures for goods was +0.05% (down -1.02% from the prior quarter).

-- The contribution made by consumer services spending to the headline decreased to +1.26% (down -0.65% from the previous quarter). Healthcare spending provided about half of services growth. The combined consumer contribution to the headline number was 1.31%, down -1.67% from the prior quarter.

-- Contracting commercial private fixed investments removed -0.40% from the headline number -- down over a full percent (-1.12%) from the fourth quarter of 2014. This drop occurred in spending for structures, industrial equipment and IT equipment. Some growth was reported in transportation equipment and intellectual property.

-- Inventory growth added +0.74% to the headline number (up +0.84% from the previous quarter). Once again it is important to note that this number has logically and historically been nearly zero-sum over extended time periods, and future mean reversion to the zero sum should be expected.

-- Governmental spending removed -0.15% from the headline (up +0.20% from the -0.35% for the previous quarter). The contraction was largely the result of decreased state and local spending on infrastructure.

-- Exports are now reported to be subtracting -0.96% from the headline growth rate (down -1.55% from the previous quarter).

-- Imports subtracted substantially less from the headline number (-0.29%) than during the prior quarter (-1.62%) -- also an expected consequence of the stronger dollar.

-- The "real final sales of domestic product" is now contracting at a -0.49% annualized rate. This is the BEA's "bottom line" measurement of the economy and it excludes the reported inventory growth.

-- And as mentioned above, real per-capita annual disposable income grew substantially during the quarter (up $506 per year quarter-to-quarter). The new number represents an annualized growth rate of +5.47%. But it is up only +4.25% in aggregate since the second quarter of 2008 -- an annualized +0.62% growth over the past 26 quarters. The reported softening growth in consumer spending is a consequence of a significant increase in household savings -- i.e., most of that $506 went into savings.




The Numbers

As a quick reminder, the classic definition of the GDP can be summarized with the following equation :

GDP = private consumption + gross private investment + government spending + (exports - imports)


or, as it is commonly expressed in algebraic shorthand :

GDP = C + I + G + (X-M)


In the new report the values for that equation (total dollars, percentage of the total GDP, and contribution to the final percentage growth number) are as follows :

GDP Components Table

Total GDP = C + I + G + (X-M)
Annual $ (trillions) $17.7 = $12.1 + $3.0 + $3.2 + $-0.5
% of GDP 100.0% = 68.4% + 16.7% + 17.9% + -3.0%
Contribution to GDP Growth % 0.25% = 1.31% + 0.34% + -0.15% + -1.25%


The quarter-to-quarter changes in the contributions that various components make to the overall GDP can be best understood from the table below, which breaks out the component contributions in more detail and over time. In the table below we have split the "C" component into goods and services, split the "I" component into fixed investment and inventories, separated exports from imports, added a line for the BEA's "Real Final Sales of Domestic Product" and listed the quarters in columns with the most current to the left :

Quarterly Changes in % Contributions to GDP

1Q-2015 4Q-2014 3Q-2014 2Q-2014 1Q-2014 4Q-2013 3Q-2013 2Q-2013 1Q-2013 4Q-2012 3Q-2012 2Q-2012 1Q-2012
Total GDP Growth 0.25% 2.22% 4.96% 4.59% -2.11% 3.50% 4.51% 1.77% 2.75% 0.06% 2.48% 1.62% 2.25%
Consumer Goods 0.05% 1.07% 1.06% 1.33% 0.23% 0.83% 0.80% 0.30% 1.35% 0.67% 0.74% 0.29% 1.06%
Consumer Services 1.26% 1.91% 1.15% 0.42% 0.60% 1.69% 0.59% 0.93% 1.11% 0.65% 0.58% 0.57% 0.81%
Fixed Investment -0.40% 0.72% 1.21% 1.45% 0.03% 0.95% 1.01% 0.74% 0.42% 0.96% 0.45% 0.61% 1.24%
Inventories 0.74% -0.10% -0.03% 1.42% -1.16% -0.34% 1.49% 0.30% 0.70% -1.80% -0.19% 0.27% -0.20%
Government -0.15% -0.35% 0.80% 0.31% -0.15% -0.71% 0.04% 0.04% -0.75% -1.20% 0.52% -0.08% -0.56%
Exports -0.96% 0.59% 0.61% 1.43% -1.30% 1.30% 0.67% 0.82% -0.12% 0.19% 0.28% 0.64% 0.19%
Imports -0.29% -1.62% 0.16% -1.77% -0.36% -0.22% -0.09% -1.36% 0.04% 0.59% 0.10% -0.68% -0.29%
Real Final Sales -0.49% 2.32% 4.99% 3.17% -0.95% 3.84% 3.02% 1.47% 2.05% 1.86% 2.67% 1.35% 2.45%





Summary and Commentary

These numbers show materially weaker economic growth within the US. The headline number is positive only because of ballooning inventories, and not because of strong commercial investments or organic growth in consumer spending for discretionary goods or services. Exports were hammered, and the continued strength of the dollar does not bode well for exports moving forward.

What's worse is that the BEA is famously incapable of accurately monitoring a weakening economy in "real time." They may eventually get it right, but only several years after the fact. For example, consider the BEA's constantly changing numbers for the first quarter of 2008 -- from the +0.6% growth shown in an April 30th "real time" report (which, incidentally, grew to +1.0% over the next two months) to a disastrous -2.7% contraction after due consideration and massive revisions (some 64 months later) :

BEA's Changing View of First Quarter 2008 GDP

Reported Growth Rate Report Date Months Lag
+0.6% April 30, 2008 1
+1.0% June 26, 2008 3
-0.7% July 31, 2009 16
-1.8% July 29, 2011 40
-2.7% July 31, 2013 64




We are not suggesting that the first quarter of 2015 is as bad as the first quarter of 2008. We are suggesting that we may not know exactly how bad it was for some time to com
 
     


Historical Commentary in PDF Format


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 2015-08-27g Indicators
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 2013-12-05December 5, 2013 - BEA Revises 3rd Quarter 2013 GDP Growth Sharply Upward to 3.60% Annual Rate 
 2013-11-07November 7, 2013 - BEA Estimates 3rd Quarter 2013 GDP Growth at 2.84% Annual Rate 
 2013-09-26September 26, 2013 - BEA Leaves 2nd Quarter 2013 GDP Growth Mostly Unchanged At 2.48% Annual Rate 
 2013-08-29August 29, 2013 - BEA Revises 2nd Quarter 2013 GDP Growth Upward To 2.52% Annual Rate 
 2013-07-31July 31, 2013 - BEA Estimates 2nd Quarter 2013 GDP Growth At 1.68% Annual Rate, While Revising 1st Quarter Sharply Downward 
 2013-06-26June 26, 2013 - BEA Revises 1st Quarter 2013 GDP Growth Downward To 1.78% Annual Rate 
 2013-05-30May 30, 2013 - BEA Revises 1st Quarter 2013 GDP Growth Down Slightly To 2.38% Annual Rate 
 2013-04-26April 26, 2013 - BEA Estimates 1st Quarter 2013 GDP Growing at 2.5% Annual Rate 
 2013-03-28March 28, 2013 - BEA Revises 4th Quarter 2012 GDP Upward to a 0.38% Annual Growth Rate 
 2013-03-19March 19, 2013 - Looking Back and Projecting Forward 
 2013-02-28February 28, 2013 - BEA Revises 4th Quarter 2012 GDP Upward to a 0.14% Annual Growth Rate 
 2013-01-30January 30, 2013 - BEA Reports 4th Quarter 2012 GDP Contracting at -0.14% Annual Rate 
 2013-01-03January 3, 2013 - A Final Review of 2012 Holiday Shopping Season 
 2012-12-20December 20, 2012 - BEA Raises 3rd Quarter 2012 GDP Growth Estimate Once Again to 3.09% 
 2012-12-19December 19, 2012 - Updated Charts and Holiday Consumer Activities Revisited 
 2012-11-29November 29, 2012 - BEA Raises 3rd Quarter 2012 GDP Growth Estimate to 2.67% 
 2012-11-26November 26, 2012 - Quick Update on the Impact of Super-Storm Sandy and the Electoral Blues 
 2012-11-05November 5, 2012 - Sandy and the Pre-Election Blues 
 2012-10-26October 26, 2012 - BEA Reports 3rd Quarter 2012 GDP Growth at 2.02% 
 2012-10-23October 23, 2012 - 3rd Quarter GDP Preview and Chart Updates 
 2012-09-27September 27, 2012 - BEA Revises Annualized GDP Growth Downward to 1.26% 
 2012-08-29August 29, 2012 - BEA Revises Estimate of Annualized GDP Growth to 1.73% 
 2012-08-14August 14, 2012 - Our Weighted Composite Index Continues to Plunge 
 2012-07-27July 27, 2012 - BEA Estimates GDP Grew at 1.54% Rate During 2nd Quarter 
 2012-07-20July 20, 2012 - The Economic Cost of Ugly Politics 
 2012-06-28June 28, 2012 - BEA Leaves GDP Growth Rate Unchanged for 1Q-2012 at 1.88% 
 2012-06-19June 19, 2012 - Commentary and Chart Updates 
 2012-05-31May 31, 2012 - BEA Revises GDP Growth Rate for 1Q-2012 Down to 1.88% 
 2012-05-09May 9, 2012 - Chart Updates and Commentary 
 2012-04-27April 27, 2012 - BEA Report Shows GDP Growth Slowing During 1Q-2012 to 2.20% 
 2012-03-29March 29, 2012 - BEA Leaves 4Q-2011 Annualized GDP Growth Essentially Unchanged at 2.97% 
 2012-02-29February 29, 2012 - BEA Revises 4Q-2011 Annualized GDP Growth to 2.98% 
 2012-01-27January 27, 2012 - Headline 4Q-2011 GDP Growth of 2.75% Masks Mixed Signals 
 2012-01-19January 19, 2012 - Taking a Closer Look at Mixed Signals 
 2011-12-22December 22, 2011 - Third Quarter GDP Revised Downward Yet Again 
 2011-11-22November 22, 2011 - Third Quarter GDP Revised Downward 
 2011-11-11November 11, 2011 - Absolute Demand Index Plummets as Disposable Income Contracts 
 2011-10-27October 27, 2011 - GDP Improves Dramatically 
 2011-10-12October 12, 2011 - What's Going On? 
 2011-09-29September 29, 2011 - BEA Adjusts Second Quarter GDP Growth Rate Upward 
 2011-09-27September 27, 2011 - Chart Updates 
 2011-09-16September 16, 2011 - Data Update and the Sticky Jobs Situation 
 2011-09-09September 9, 2011 - Persistent Questions 
 2011-08-30August 30, 2011 - Has the BEA Already Documented the Second Dip? 
 2011-08-26August 26, 2011 - BEA Lowers Second Quarter GDP Growth Rate to Below 1% 
 2011-08-24August 24, 2011 - Update on Our Indexes 
 2011-08-15August 15, 2011 - Daily Growth Index Surge Continues; But Why? 
 2011-08-05August 5, 2011 - Special Update: Daily Growth Index Breaks Positive 
 2011-08-04August 4, 2011 - The BEA Revisions Revisited 
 2011-08-02August 2, 2011 - New Index & Housing Data 
 2011-07-29July 29, 2011 - BEA Reports 1Q-2011 and "Great Recession" Far Worse Than We Were Previously Told 
 2011-07-23July 23, 2011 - Unexpected Extremes & Mussolini Revisited 
 2011-07-16July 16, 2011 - Weighted Composite Index Continues to Strengthen 
 2011-07-09July 9, 2011 - Continuing Contraction Moderation; Shakespeare's Stimulating Idea 
 2011-07-02July 2, 2011 - Upturn in Daily Growth Index; Stimulating Despite Demographic Dilemmas 
 2011-06-24June 24, 2011 - The BEA's Third (and "Final") Estimate of First Quarter 2011 GDP 
 2011-06-21June 21, 2011 - Updating the Impact of Strategic Defaults 
 2011-06-15June 15, 2011 - Keeping Perspective and Strangulation by Regulation 
 2011-06-05June 5, 2011 - Bottom Bouncing and Scholarly Debt End-Games 
 2011-05-26May 26, 2011 - The BEA's Second Estimate of First Quarter 2011 GDP 
 2011-05-20May 20, 2011 - A Pause in the Ongoing Contraction; Incorporating Debt/GDP End-Games 
 2011-05-14May 14, 2011 - Continued Weakness in Consumer Demand; Unthinkable De-Financialization 
 2011-05-05May 5, 2011 - Resumed Downturns, Retail Sales and Consumer Confidence 
 2011-04-29April 29, 2011 - Bottoming at New Record Lows, Plus Debt/GDP End-Games via Insurrection 
 2011-04-28April 28, 2011 - The BEA's Advance Estimate of First Quarter 2011 GDP 
 2011-04-21April 21, 2011 - Making Sense of Our Indices, Plus Regime Changing Debt/GDP End-Games 
 2011-04-16April 16, 2011 - New Records and "Unthinkable" Sovereign Debt End-Games 
 2011-04-12April 12, 2011 - Updated Charts and Mr. Bernanke's Dilemma 
 2011-04-10April 10, 2011 - Retail Sales and Credit Expansions 
 2011-04-05April 5, 2011 - Automotive Euphoria; Sovereign Debt End-Games 
 2011-03-31March 31, 2011 - Continued Weakness; Divergences Revisited 
 2011-03-25March 25, 2011 - The BEA's Third Estimate of Fourth Quarter 2010 GDP 
 2011-03-23March 23, 2011 - Data Update; Sendai and Japan's Wealth -vs- GDP 
 2011-03-22March 22, 2011 - News and the Consumer, Reflections on Chernobyl and the Economy 
 2011-03-19March 19, 2011 - News and the Consumer, Bad Instruments and Chernobyl 
 2011-03-13March 13, 2011 - Glaring Disconnects and Tsunami Riding Black Swans 
 2011-02-25February 25, 2011 - Inside the BEA's New Lower Estimate of 4Q-2010 GDP Growth 
 2011-02-23February 23, 2011 - Recent Downturns in Our Indexes & the Fallacy Revisited 
 2011-02-16February 16, 2011 - Our Current Outlook and Bastiat's Broken Window 
 2011-02-09February 9, 2011 - An Update Plus Mid February Odds and Ends 
 2011-02-07February 7, 2011 - Measuring the Impact of "Strategic Defaults" and Mortgage Delinquencies on Consumer Spending 
 2011-02-02February 2, 2011 - Answering More Questions about the Q4-2010 GDP Report (Ad Nauseam) 
 2011-01-30January 30, 2011 - More Thoughts on the BEA's "Advance Estimate" for 4Q-2010 
 2011-01-29January 29, 2011 - What the BEA's Advance Estimate of Fourth Quarter 2010 GDP Was Really Telling Us 
 2011-01-12January 12, 2011 - Reflecting Back on 2010 
 2011-01-10January 10, 2011 - Lessons from 2010 
 2010-12-29December 29, 2010 - Looking Back at Holiday Sales and the BEA's Third Estimate for Q3-2010 
 2010-12-14December 14, 2010 - Feeding the Holiday Sales Frenzy While Maintaining Perspective 
 2010-12-07December 7, 2010 - Retail Updates, The Full Economy & GDP Revisited 
 2010-12-01December 1, 2010 - "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday" 
 2010-11-23November 23, 2010 - First Revision to the Third Quarter GDP 
 2010-11-22November 22, 2010 - Continued Modest Improvements in Our Weighted Composite Index 
 2010-11-14November 14, 2010 - What Does the Bottom in the Daily Growth Index Mean? 
 2010-11-09November 9, 2010 - Daily Growth Index Shows Signs of Bottom Forming 
 2010-11-07November 7, 2010 - Revisiting the Character of the "Great Recession" 
 2010-10-31October 31, 2010 - The End of Political "FUD" Approaches 
 2010-10-29October 29, 2010 - Inside the Third Quarter GDP Release 
 2010-10-25October 25, 2010 - Current Contraction Surpasses "Great Recession" 
 2010-10-24October 24, 2010 - The U.S. Census Bureau's Retail Sales Report 
 2010-10-17October 17, 2010 - Political "FUD" and the Consumer Psyche 
 2010-10-10October 10, 2010 - Daily Growth Index Sets Record Low and Duration Marks 
 2010-10-05October 5, 2010 - Inside the September GDP Revisions 
 2010-10-03October 3, 2010 - Weakening Weighted Composite Pulls Daily Growth Index to All-Time Low 
 2010-09-26September 26, 2010 - The Diverging GDP 
 2010-09-22September 22, 2010 - NBER: Double Dip or Banana Split? 
 2010-09-20September 20, 2010 - Thoughts on the Recent "Bottom" in our Weighted Composite Index 
 2010-09-18September 18, 2010 - Has the Bottom Been Reached? 
 2010-09-11September 11, 2010 - The Big Scoop and Housing 
 2010-09-02September 2, 2010 - Autos, Personal Finance, and Refinancing 
 2010-09-01September 1, 2010 - Viewing the "Great Recession" in Hi-Def 
 2010-08-30August 30, 2010 - Taking a Closer Look at the "Great Recession" 
 2010-08-28August 28, 2010 - Inside the BEA's Latest GDP Numbers 
 2010-08-22August 22, 2010 - 75 Days of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt 
 2010-08-20August 20, 2010 - Politics and the Economy; Cause and Effect 


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Consumer Metrics Institute Presentation Series:
Economic Data for the 21st Century - Part 1 (Duration 7:35)
 
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