An Upward Revision in GDP As We Expected

Political Calculations

12/3/2012 12:01:00 AM

 

We were really amused to read Ed Morrissey's lead in his take on the BEA's release of its second estimate for how much the U.S. economy grew in the third quarter of 2012:

When I wrote about the advance estimate from the Commerce Department on Q3 GDP hitting 2.0%, some commenters warned that the report — which came out just before the election — would be sharply revised after it. They were right, although the revision went in the opposite direction they suspected. The revised Q3 GDP number jumped upward to 2.7%, the best quarter of the year, although still substantially a stagnation number, especially when one sees the source of the growth

While Ed then goes on to note the role of government spending and particularly defense spending in boosting the GDP growth rate for the quarter, we really can't help wonder who the commenters who picked the wrong direction for the revision are.

Because clearly, they aren't us! Here's what we wrote nearly one month ago:

As we expected, economic growth in the United States picked up in the third quarter of 2012, increasing from the annualized growth rate of 1.3% recorded in 2012-Q2 to 2.0% in the BEA's initial GDP estimate for 2012-Q3.

We had forecast that real GDP would be recorded at $13,602.8 billion in terms of constant 2005 U.S. dollars, and the BEA's initial estimate came in at $13,616.2 billion - a difference of $13.4 billion, or within 0.01% of the BEA's recorded figure.

The BEA will revise this figure twice more before the end of the year. We anticipate that it will be adjusted upward, as the third quarter of 2012 likely recorded the U.S.' strongest economic performance for the year.

And here's what we wrote nearly a month before that:

Although we're coming off a quarter where the U.S. economy could reasonably be described as being in a "microrecession", as we had long expected, we anticipate that the GDP growth rate will be stronger in the third quarter of 2012 by comparison. Going by the dividend futures data we've had available since November 2011, the third quarter of 2012 has always looked as if it would be the strongest in 2012. Much like how the second quarter of 2008 was the strongest quarter in that year, even though the U.S. economy had already peaked and had begun falling into recession earlier in December 2007.

We'll give the next-to-final word to the Emperor:

But alas, when it came to serious analysis of data in real time, the Emperor was no Moradmin Bast. Geek out on that if you will....