Skip to main content

Does real GDP growth signal recovery?

Over on Twitter this morning, The Kirk Report tweeted a link to a Wells Capital Management report that offers some upbeat news on prospects for economic recovery.

Here's an excerpt from that report entitled, "Current Real GDP Recovery Looks as Strong as 1975, 1982 Recoveries":

"Despite a strong fourth-quarter real GDP report, the debate surrounding the strength of the contemporary economic recovery lingers. Most seem to anticipate a subpar recovery similar to the last two during the early 1990s and after the dot-com meltdown in the early 2000s.

However, although the current recovery is only two quarters old, it is thus far closely tracking the strong recoveries of 1975 and 1982..."


There follows some interesting charts and data summaries which lead the authors to conclude that the current recovery, measured on real GDP growth, is much stronger than many had believed it would be.

I am happy to consider positive arguments for economic growth, but I'm also left to wonder how reliable these real GDP figures are, given the way we measure inflation statistics these days.

Tim Iacono at TMGM has a nice little chart that illustrates this relationship between real economic growth and inflation. Note how drastically the real GDP figures can change when inflation is overstated or understated.

For a more thorough discussion of why GDP figures are an unreliable and "heavily politicized" data point, please see this post on John Williams' Shadow Stats report on 4th quarter GDP.

Added notes: this blog post from the Daily Kos site offers an upbeat outlook on the GDP numbers and jobs recovery, similar to the Wells Capital report. What are your thoughts?

Popular posts from this blog

The Dot-Com Bubble in 1 Chart: InfoSpace

With all the recent talk of a new bubble in the making, thanks in part to the Yellen Fed's continued easy money stance , I thought it'd be instructive to revisit our previous stock market bubble - in one quick chart. So here's what a real stock market bubble looks like.  Here's what a bubble *really* looks like. InfoSpace in 1999-2001. $QQQ $BCOR pic.twitter.com/xjsMk433H7 — David Shvartsman (@FinanceTrends) February 24, 2015   For those of you who are a little too young to recall it, this is a chart of InfoSpace at the height of the Nasdaq dot-com bubble in 1999-2001. This fallen angel soared to fantastic heights only to plummet back down to earth as the bubble, and InfoSpace's shady business plan , turned to rubble. As detailed in our post, " Round trip stocks: Momentum booms and busts ", InfoSpace rocketed from under $100 a share to over $1,300 a share in less than six months.  In a pattern common to many parabolic shooting stars, the s

Jesse Livermore: How to Trade in Stocks (1940 Ed. E-book)

If you've been around markets for any length of time, you've probably heard of 20th century supertrader, Jesse Livermore . Today we're highlighting his rare 1940 work, How to Trade in Stocks (ebook, pdf). But first, a brief overview of Livermore's life and trading career (bio from Jesse Livermore's Wikipedia entry). "During his lifetime, Livermore gained and lost several multi-million dollar fortunes. Most notably, he was worth $3 million and $100 million after the 1907 and 1929 market crashes, respectively. He subsequently lost both fortunes. Apart from his success as a securities speculator, Livermore left traders a working philosophy for trading securities that emphasizes increasing the size of one's position as it goes in the right direction and cutting losses quickly. Ironically, Livermore sometimes did not follow his rules strictly. He claimed that lack of adherence to his own rules was the main reason for his losses after making his 1907 and

New! Finance Trends now at FinanceTrendsLetter.com

Update for our readers: Finance Trends has a new URL!  Please bookmark our new web address at Financetrendsletter.com Readers sticking with RSS updates should point your feed readers to our new Finance Trends feedburner .   Thank you to all of our loyal readers who have been with us since the early days. Exciting stuff to come in the weeks ahead! As a quick reminder, you can subscribe to our free email list to receive the Finance Trends Newsletter . You'll receive email updates about once every 4-8 weeks (about 2-3 times per quarter).  Stay up to date with our real-time insights and updates on Twitter .