If you repeat something often enough, you may even start to believe it.
So try this phrase: “The economy is improving. The economy is improving. The economy is improving.”
Certainly, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Propaganda (aka, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis or BEA) would have you think that’s the case. The BEA initially reported growth in gross domestic product (GDP) of 4% for the second quarter of 2014. That seemed like quite a leap from the first quarter’s -2.9% contraction, but the BEA adjusted that number to “negative growth” of -2.1%.
That’s old news, though. Thanks to “a larger than previously estimated increase in nonresidential fixed investment,” the BEA announced in August that second quarter growth was really 4.2%. A swing of 6.3% in a single quarter! Well done!
But wait … there’s more. The BEA announced in September that second quarter growth was 4.6%! The BEA cited “growing personal consumption, private inventory investment, exports, both residential and nonresidential fixed investment, as well as local government spending,” none of which apparently existed when the BEA gave its first two estimates.
We can hardly wait for October 30, when the BEA is scheduled to report Q3 results. Maybe by then, we’ll learn that second quarter growth exceeded 5%. It will be interesting to find out whether Q1’s negative growth was an aberration or whether Q2’s giant leap forward was an aberration.