Originally Posted by Alexei
Not to be a stick in the mud, but a recession is defined as two or more quarters of negative economic growth. There has not even been one quarter so far since the slowdown began that was negative. Therefore, the US is not in a recession. Q.E.D.
Don't believe everything you see on TV or hear from a politician. Especially in an election year. And especially about anything remotely resembling economics.
Not to put too fine a point on, but your advice in paragraph two seems to contradict your position in paragraph one.
That is, you accept the government's press releases as to GDP, unemployment, etc. but caution others not to believe everything they hear from a politician. Wouldn't that hold with bureaucrats, as well?
Oh, BTW, the accepted definition is not two or more quarters of negative GDP, but two consecutive
If the methodology for calculating official economic statistics hadn't been changed, repeatedly, in the last 20-30 years with the inclusion of such dubious items as "birth/death models," "hedonics," "equivalent rents," "implied productivity," "core inflation" (excludes energy and food), the government
would have had to acknowledge that we're already in a recession. Funny
how all the tweaking of the methodology has always resulted in a lowering
of the official inflation number.
Since that number is subtracted from the official GDP number, the smaller you can make it, the less the GDP number comes down. As it is, the 1Q08 GDP number was put at +.6% by the Commerce Department. Is it possible that, in an election year, someone was "encouraged" by a higher authority, thusly, "I don't care how you do it, don't let that number go negative!"
Personally, I've always preferred the simpler, "A recession is when your neighbor loses his job - a depression is when you lose yours."