Beat the Morons

Friday, June 26, 2009
[This will be revised and extended]

The current economic situation provides an opportunity to test economic forecasting skills in a period of rather high uncertainty. The challenge is to come closer to the advance BEA estimate of change in GDP for Q2 '09 than the median of the Bloomberg survey of economists. The BEA advance estimate will be announced on July 31 at 8:30AM EST. The current BEA news release contains what amounts to a primer on factors affecting the GDP plus links to more extensive explanations. Following are links to data sources that I have found helpful in formulating estimates of how the economy is performing.

BEA Table 1.1.5. Gross Domestic Product

BEA Table 2.1. Personal Income and Its Disposition

BLS Employment Situation Summary

Fed H.8 - Assets and Liabilities of Commercial Banks in the United States

BLS/Commerce Weekly Unemployment

Railfax - comparison of weekly car loadings.


Other Statistical Resources for Economics


Anonymous said...

Well, Hell Rick. I feel like I'm back in a math analysis course. Do we have to show our work? This could run to several pages. :-) I think it is time for a SWAG.

Rick Ballard said...

It'll be a SWAG even with several pages. I find myself referring to all the links named at least once a week. They're the source for about 80% of the AP "business news" gargle printed.

I'm going to try and fill in some explanations as to what those reports entail in order to create a reference so that I can stop boring people to death with explanations.

I suppose my basic premise is that our economic credentialed morons have seriously misjudged the loss of trust by the productive element in the US - both in the political leadership and in business leadership as well.

I suppose the clearest evidence of the level of mistrust can be derived from the H.8 tables but I want to work through the GDP and Personal Income stuff first in order to lay a foundation.

I believe this will be the key to the '10 elections. The stimulus vote purchase plan just isn't going to do the trick for the Dems.