Saturday, January 17, 2009

Monthly GDP for November rose by +1.2% (+15.2% annualized), Q4 tracking for a -5.5% annualized loss

Monthly real GDP, one of the five primary economic indicators that the NBER Business Cycle Dating Committee (NBER BCDC) uses to judge recession start and end dates, rose sharply in November by +1.2% or +15.2% annualized, after declining sharply by -1.3% in October, and real Q4 GDP is forecast to decline by -5.5% annualized, according to Macroeconomic Advisers (MA). The government does not publish GDP data at a monthly level, but the NBER Business Cycle Dating Committee says that they refer to sources such as Macroeconomic Advisers (MA) and their MGDP data series. As Macroeconomic Advisers summarized GDP in November:

Monthly GDP rose 1.2% in November, essentially reversing a 1.3% decline in October.  The sharp increase in November primarily reflected sharply positive contributions from net exports and inventory investment.  The contribution to monthly GDP growth from domestic final sales was essentially nil, following a sharply negative contribution in October.  The level of monthly GDP averaged over October and November was 4.5% below the third-quarter average at an annual rate.  Our latest tracking estimate of a 5.5% decline in GDP in the fourth quarter assumes a 1.4% decline in monthly GDP in December.

If the NBER BCDC is the definitive expert on marking of recessions, MA is the definitive expert on measuring real GDP at the monthly level with their MGDP data series.

-- Jack Krupansky

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