Looking Behind Headline GDP Statistics

Looking Behind Headline GDP Statistics

Shortly after 8:30 am this morning, cable news networks and web sites quickly reported the government’s initial estimate of 3.5% growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the third quarter of 2009. In terms of depth of reporting, most of these news stories on macroeconomic developments are similar to stories regarding company earnings. If your only source of information are the “headline numbers”, you will be left with a stream of data that is a mile wide and an inch deep. Read this article for more details on Q3 2009 GDP numbers.

Cash for Clunkers: Critical Stimulus or Boondoggle?

With the initial $1 billion of funding for the Federal Government’s “Cash for Clunkers” program nearly exhausted, the Senate must pass a bill to provide more money for the program prior to the start of the August recess at the end of this week. The House has already approved an additional $2 billion for this program. There appears to be widespread support for this program and it is certainly popular in the same way that a free lunch is usually popular among recipients. Economists such as Alan Greenspan have indicated support for additional funding. Read this article for an opposing view.

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