Thursday, July 31, 2008

GDP And Employment Reports

GDP And Employment Reports 

The GDP in Q2 grew at 1.9% rate after expanding .9% in first quarter.  The recession probably beganin 2007 Q4 as "revised" data showed contraction. 

The world's largest economy contracted at a 0.2 percent annual pace in the fourth quarter of last year compared with a previously reported 0.6 percent gain, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. Growth for the period from 2005 through 2007 was also trimmed.

``While everyone focuses on GDP, keep in mind that it is not the only barometer of economic activity,'' David Rosenberg, chief North American economist at Merrill Lynch & Co. in New York, said in a July 28 note to clients. Growth ``is subject to huge historical revisions.''....

American workers also earned less in the last two years than the government previously estimated. Employee compensation was reduced by $69 billion, or 0.9 percent, in 2007. Figures for wages and for benefits were reduced about equally. The reduction in benefits reflected smaller contributions by employers to health insurance plans.  

But I guess that's good news as there is no wage inflation.

Separately, the Unemployment claims report showed that initial claims for unemployment jumped by 44,000 to 448,000.  Is it just a conincident that the numbers are worse in five years just before tomorrows number?  The report tomorrow will have a mid-year adjustment to Birth/Death model.  It's going to be a bad number.





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