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GDP: More fuzzy numbers
The GDP report was released this morning and it was a compendium of incomprehensible and illogical numbers and, worse, it is just plain wrong.
Of course, since so much rides on an accurate assessment of our true economic state of affairs, it behooves us to make sense of it as best we can, understanding that the GDP report is less than perfect and riddled with difficult-to-rationalize statistical manipulations and quirky additions.
For example, the imputed value of "owner occupied housing" is a non-cash ‘addition’ to GDP meant to capture the value that people derive from their houses, due to the fact that they own them and do not pay rent to themselves in order to live there. If this does not make sense to you, that means you are normal.
So we gamely march off into the most current GDP report, which came out this morning (Friday, July 31, 2009), mostly to expose just how wrong it is.
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