Tuesday, December 22, 2009

More Number Games

Remember that Q3 GDP number that originally came out at 3.5%??? Of course you don't. The government doesn't want you to. It was revised down originally to 2.8% or a 20% reduction. Today it was revised down to 2.2%, an additional 22%. This is a 37% total reduction. Who cares about Q3 GDP now? That is the whole point. Has the markets given back 37% of its gains from the original GDP report? Ha, no. Instead the thinking is that GDP will be higher in Q4 and Q1 now. We can get excited about that going forward. It is ridiculous. Put out really high numbers that everyone gets excited about. Revise them down months later creating a lower base for the next "eye-popping" number. Oh and we can get excited about the housing number as people rushed to buy government subsidized houses that has since got extended.

Meanwhile across the pond Great Britain is losing space to maneuver in their own games.

From the Guardian:

Gordon Brown received a twin blow today when a leading ratings agency warned Britain to get a tighter grip on its record budget deficit and figures revealed that the slump of the past 18 months was now officially the deepest since the second world war.


Confirmation that the UK is the only G20 nation still in recession sent the pound tumbling to a two-month low against the US dollar, with sterling dipping below the $1.60 level after the ONS announcement.

Ministers will now have to wait until the next set of growth figures are published in late January before receiving evidence that their attempts to boost activity have worked. Public investment in buildings helped provide the biggest boost to construction output for more than six years during the third quarter, while the "cash for clunkers" scheme led to a pick-up in demand for cars.

this is a big drop

Since the start of the downturn in early 2008, GDP has dropped by 6.03%, marginally worse than the 6% decline suffered during the deep manufacturing slump of 1979-81.

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