Several commentators (e.g.,  ) keep on taking me to task for citing GDP as if it was the variable of ultimate concern. I have repeatedly noted GDP is a measure of economic activity, not a measure of economic welfare. However, in order to deter these repetitive and sometimes sententious comments, I’ll provide some graphs to illustrate the difference between a measure of economic activity, and a measure of welfare.
I was looking at survey based forecast errors for short term interest rates, when I generated this graph. It’s certainly a humbling picture.
ZeroHedge breathlessly announces “Atlanta Fed Says US Economy Suddenly On Verge Of Contraction”. The title is numerically correct, and the article actually provides more context than usual. However, for perspective, I think it’s of interest to see what other organizations are nowcasting.
The five year Treasury-TIPS spread has, inarguably, shot up:
I hear a lot about “records”. Not so remarkable in levels, but very remarkable in growth rates.
According to official data published by the National Bureau of Statistics, China’s growth q/q seasonally adjusted slowed considerably in Q3, to 0.2% (not annualized), below the Bloomberg consensus of 0.5%. The four quarter growth rate was 4.9%, vs consensus of 5.2%.
The IMF blog (Andrea Pescatori, Martin Stuermer, and Nico Valckx) predicts: “Surging Energy Prices May Not Ease Until Next Year”.