Visions of grandeur. Or analyzing data with 3D lenses!

I could never understand the focus on annualized quarterly growth rates! On that score we´ve been getting a lot of this sort of comment:

GDP registered its best six-month stretch since 2003 in the period ending Sept. 30, Commerce Department data out Tuesday showed.

The resurgent growth alongside steady labor market improvements this year suggest the economy is on solid footing despite uncertainty abroad. GDP has now expanded for two straight and 19 of the past 21 quarters. Those 63 months of only briefly interrupted growth stretch out longer than the post-World War II average of 58 months for recoveries.

But some come quickly “down to earth” and say:

But strip out some of the quarterly volatility and the economy’s performance remains unspectacular.

For the short four year period following the gutter of the “Great Recession”, this is the contrast between viewing data with 3D and “normal” lenses:

3D Lenses

Both have the same average (2.2%) but the volatility of annualized growth is more than 3x greater.

Don´t forget that it was from focusing attention at the volatile component of headline CPI/PCE that led the Fed to fear inflation “getting out of hand” back in 2008! We all know (and feel) the consequences.

One thought on “Visions of grandeur. Or analyzing data with 3D lenses!

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