Thursday, July 31, 2003

The GDP numbers are just too rich to ignore this morning!

By the way, did you hear that US GDP rose in 2003:II by 2.3492%? No, you probably heard 2.4%. Now I grant you, rounding is fine for the big picture, but when you look at the actual numbers, this is closer to 2.3% than to 2.4%. Keep that in mind.

Also, did somebody say "military Keynesianism"? The General reported today that the #1 contributor to the US GDP rise in 2003:II was federal defense spending. Let's pretend that the US had had no war in Iraq and defense spending had stayed steady. In 2003:I it was $409.7bn (in chained 1996 dollars), so let's plug in a nice round figure of $410bn of imaginary defense spending for 2003:II (for those of you keeping score at home, the real number was $448.9bn).

Lop off the $40bn difference and what do you get? A 0.67% growth rate in 2003:II!!

Now that would have been one hell of a headline!

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