Here are a few charts courtesy of Doug Short.
click on any chart for sharper image
Real GDP with GDP Deflator
Real GDP with CPI Deflator
Wednesday evening I asked Doug Short for a chart using HPI-CPI as a deflator. It's a chart he normally does not produce but did so this time because we had the data.
Real GDP with HPI-CPI Deflator
For background and an explanation of the HPI-CPI please see Dissecting the Fed-Sponsored Housing Bubble; HPI-CPI Revisited; Real Housing Prices; Price Inflation Higher than Fed Admits
Using HPI-CPI as a deflator it hardly appears there was a recession in 2001 at all.
It's debatable which of the three charts best describes reality. However, I vote for the third believing that houses are consumed, even if very slowly (although the land on which the house sits is not). The current assumption is houses are a capital expenditure and people rent housing from themselves at an implied OER - Owners' Equivalent Rate (see preceding link for discussion).
Regardless, the current deflator of .60% is simply not believable, meaning GDP is overstated.
Regression Trends Show Lower GDP Growth Over Time
Notice the linear regression trendlines in the first and third charts. The middle chart would have looked similar if it had such a trendline.
Clearly the trend is toward lower and lower GDP readings. And I expect this trend to continue, likely accelerate to the downside.
Inquiring minds may be asking "Why?"
Ten Reasons for Declining GDP Growth
- Changing social attitudes towards consumption and debt in all age groups
- Demographics of an aging workforce
- A severe lack of high-paying jobs for college graduates
- Kids fresh out of college have delayed marriage, family formation, and home purchases
- Many coming out of college are effectively debt slaves having no way to pay back student loans
- Debt overhang from the housing bust
- Boomers headed into retirement have insufficient savings
- Shrinking middle-class plagued by declining real wages
- Rapidly changing technology negates skills
- Technology, especially robots, currently eliminates more jobs than it creates
Mike "Mish" Shedlock