CMI: Disturbing Undercurrents in GDP Numbers and Consumer Activity

January 30th, 2011
in econ_news

flood warning Econintersect:  The latest report (January 30) from CMI (Consumer Metrics Institute) indicates that the on-line consumer durable goods purchases they track are seriously lagging what has been seen in previous recoveries, including that in the first half of 2009.  In addition, they find troubling things buried in the advance GDP numbers released Friday.

Follow up:

Items CMI cites as disturbing in the latest GDP data:  commodity inflation depressing import valuation, low GDP deflator, end of inventory build and government spending cut backs.  From the CMI report:

(Our data) speaks to more than the continued possibility of a (now generally dismissed) "double-dip" recession. It indicates that discretionary spending habits have changed (and remain changed) for the demographics that we track. The lingering contraction (in our data) indicates that modest prolonged year-over-year contraction may be a new "normal" for the economy. If so, this is not something that the vast majority of Americans have ever experienced.

Source:  GEI Analysis

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