GDP

Prevailing Truths

According to official US economic data, the US Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has expanded for 22 quarters, raising real GDP 12.1% above its high prior to the 2008-09 economic contraction. Yet, US manufacturing output and US industrial production have not recovered to their pre-contraction high.  So what is driving the real GDP growth?  In my opinion, the rise in real GDP is an illusion produced by the under-measurement of inflation.

The CBO Obamacare Brouhaha

The headlines blare Obamcare will cause over two million more jobs to be lost by 2017 and the losses will grow to 2.5 million jobs by 2024.  That analysis is from the Congressional Budget Office in their 2014 Budget Outlook report.  Unfortunately, the rationale behind the CBO claims are that the subsidies to buy health insurance for individuals are larger than the wages earned working full-time hours.  From the report:

Killing the Economy

The economy has been debilitated by the offshoring of middle class jobs for the benefit of corporate profits and by the Federal Reserve’s policy of Quantitative Easing in order to support a few oversized banks that the government protects from market discipline. Not only does QE distort bond and stock markets, it threatens the value of the dollar and has resulted in manipulation of the gold price.

Food Stamps Cut To $1.40 Per Meal

One might think that $11 dollars less per month in food stamps for an individual is not a big deal.  But considering the maximum monthly amount one could have is $200 a month, now $189, it is.  A whopping 15% of the population are on food stamps and now will experience a 5.4% cut in benefits, just in time for the holidays.  As of July 2013, 47,637,407 people were receiving SNAP benefits.

Outrageous Economic Shorts - There Is No STEM Worker Shortage

Once again our daily barrage of economic injustice news is overwhelming.  From lobbyist lies to interest rate swap rigging to killing workers by the hundreds to our best and brightest working jobs flipping burgers, here are some quick economic news shorts that you don't want to miss.

 

More on the Economic Effects of Superstorm Sandy

hurricane sandy

Superstorm Sandy's economic effects are popping up like the dark clouds of a hurricane. In The Perfect Storm we predicted Sandy would negatively impact Q4 GDP by 0.5 percentage points. The Philadelphia Federal Reserve's survey of professional forecasters recently downgraded their Q4 GDP estimates by 0.4 percentage points to 1.8% annualized Q4 GDP growth. There are some estimates which are as low as 0.5% Q4 GDP, much of the downgrades due to superstorm Sandy.

Now the data is rolling in, like the storm surge itself. Sandy hit the New Jersey coast on October 29th. Even while the damage, loss of power, business closings and economic activity would seem to go negative after that date, October industrial production was hit with a full percentage point of Hurricane Sandy related contraction.

The Perfect Economic Storm

hurricane sandy

The destruction from Hurricane Sandy will negatively impact fourth quarter economic growth. Most of us have heard by now that not addressing the fiscal cliff will throw the United States back into recession. The CBO has warned and warned again. Similar to the trifecta of three separate weather events combining to create Frankenstorm, we have economic and political events colliding to do the same.

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