Oh no! The government isn't reporting any economic data!
That's something that might stymie a lesser economist, but we're not going to let a lame government shut down stop us!
That's why today, we're going to do the job that the furloughed employees of the Bureau of Economic Analysis won't be doing this month, unless the partial government shutdown ends really soon and they crank out a rush job. We're going to estimate what the United States' Gross Domestic Product will be for the just completed third quarter of 2013.
After all, we've previously found that it takes maybe as many as 2.5 economists in the private sector to do the same job that it takes 16 government economists to do, so just how hard could it be?
Technically, we're going to forecast it, but then, since it takes the BEA three attempts before they finally get close to a good number, forecast values for GDP are probably just as good as an official government estimated one.
Let's do this visually, so you can get a sense of where we came up with our estimate of GDP for 2013-Q3. Our first chart is one based on math that we have been developing to quantify and visualize the impact of changes in government spending, taxes and the Fed's quantitative easing programs upon the U.S. economy, but which we'll now use to project what nominal GDP will be reported to be for the third quarter of 2013:
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