How are things going? Without useful data, it’s nearly impossible to make good decisions and adjust accordingly. The most surprising thing about the decade-long downturn in the US economy is that the bottom line data, real (inflation adjusted) Gross Domestic Product, has been a moving target. Data has been constantly revised downward for as far back as 2003 through last month.
With the first revision to the second quarter 2011 GDP figure due on Friday, we can only expect the very worst. But that’s not all there is to this problem. A look back at how far it has all been revised down shows just how bad things have been for the last decade – and how policy makers never saw it happening.