Statistics, statistics

The blog has worried in the past about the way that official statistics seem to be increasingly manipulated to provide a rosy view of the economy. Barrons, the leading US investment magazine, provides another example this week, in connection with the report that US GDP grew at 3.3% in Q2.

Barrons notes that this is supposed to be a ‘real’ figure, ie after adjusting for inflation. This leads them to question why the inflation rate used by the statisticians was just 1.33%? And they comment, ‘maybe it did — but not in the good old U.S. of A’, adding that this would have been the lowest inflation rate in 5 years. It is also a major discrepancy with official figures for consumer price inflation, which was reported at 8.8% for Q2.

Barrons suggests that if a realistic inflation estimate had been used, the US economy would instead have been shown to have contracted by 2.9%. Quite a difference!

About Paul Hodges

Paul Hodges is Chairman of International eChem, trusted commercial advisers to the global chemical industry. Paul is also an invited member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council. The aim of this blog is to share ideas about the influences that may shape the chemical industry over the next 12 – 18 months. It will try to look behind today’s headlines, to understand what may happen next in important issues such as oil prices, economic growth and the environment. We may also have some fun, investigating a few of the more offbeat events that take place from time to time. Please do join me and share your thoughts. Between us, we will hopefully develop useful insights into the key factors that will drive the industry's future performance.


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