GDP Down? Take It With a Little Seasoning

The first revision for Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the first quarter (1Q15) came out negative. The economy is contracting! Is it time to panic?  The White House attributed the slowdown to weak exports, which are quite well known to be a problem.  But is that all?

As we have commented on at length before, the GDP numbers are full of fudge, so it may be hard to know just what to make of them. A cynic would say, and probably does say, that they the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) is making the numbers up as they go to make everyone happy.

Perhaps you are a bit too diabetic to handle all the fudge, either, but this problem is a bit more savory than sweet. It’s all about the seasoning – or, rather, the “seasonal adjustment”.

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