Friday, August 29, 2008

Inside The BLS: Q2 GDP was 3.3% ...?!?!?

An optimist can surely conjure many explanations [surely "lame excuses"?? -ed.] for how the United States BLS arrived at their upwardly revised 3.3% growth measurement for US GDP.  Realists, such a Merrill Lynch Senior Economist David Rosenberg, have deconstructed the number and suggested one take it with a grain of proverbial salt. He sees the alledged upside surprise resulting from a concentrated revision in net exports, and despite a Q2 CPI running in excess of an annualized 5% and PPI close 10%, skeptically at the suggestion that non-financial corporate deflator deflated at an annual rate of 3.8%. Ummmm. Yeah. I must admit that without even reviewing the details, the numbers appear so far departed from any experienced reality as to raise my eyebrows and search for the real explanation, whereupon I discovered rumours of what actually might happened...
- Deputy statistician's dog ate the BLS work-sheet
- Computer Error....(damned Dell boxes)
- BLS borrowed their deflator model from Moody's
- Karl Rove hacked into a BLS spreadsheet and "flipped the sign" on the deflator
- BLS spent so much time trying to massage the numbers they didn't have time to accurately calculate the numbers
- Made a paper plane out of the real number, but it got hijacked
- Left the real number at home, but it got repossessed
- Statistician was too busy thinking about whether or not he/she should quit this monkey house
- "Deflator"? Deflator?!? BLS statistician thought he was told to be a confabulator".
- BLS used the new invisible paper, and now they can't find it
- BLS has been using solar-powered calculators and it's been cloudy.
- Got mistaken for an Xmas wish list and sent to Santa Claus
- BLS has been using solar-powered calculators and it's been cloudy.
- Lent it to the Chinese so they can study our rigourous statistical methods to help them alter their own reality 

What is one to make of all this? Well first and foremost don't get suckered into buying stocks or covering shorts on the back of a bogus number. There may be reasons to own certain stocks, but kneejerk reaction to an outlier isn't one of them.

2 comments:

RJH Adams said...

Considered the possibility that it's a special MLK "I have a Dream" anniversary edition?

Anonymous said...

Have you considered SMERSH.