James Pethokoukis continues misinforming readers (why does he do this? is it some sort of a hobby?) out at US News and World Report:
Out: Recession. In: Expansion. That’s my quick take on
today’s first-quarter gross domestic product number, which showed that
the economy grew 0.6 percent in the first quarter.
Nevermind that these figures are likely to be revised (based on this
administration’s recent history with data, anyone care to guess which
way they’ll be revised?), or that they use 2.6% deflator.. He goes on:
Remember, the shorthand rule for declaring a recession is
back-to-back quarters of negative growth. The semiofficial recession
judge, the National Bureau of Economic Research, has a more complex
formula, but I am not sure it has ever declared a recession when the
economy never actually shrank.
Well, there’s an easy way to be sure. The BEA keeps data for GDP here. You’ll
GDP for 2000q4 recession began in March of 2001 and extended through November of 2001.
I would also note that GDP did not shrink for a single quarter during the 1970s. Not one. In fact, the smallest quarterly percentage increase in GDP during the entire decade was more than 3 times faster than the 0.6% of GDP James P is so excited about. (Ah, the joys of ignoring inflation!) So if Pethokoukis thinks we’re in an expansion now, he must have really been thrilled with stagflation.
This one by cactus.