Sunday, April 29, 2012

Recession Statistics: Q1 2012

As before we use the St Louis FED data showing the min, max and average metrics for the GDP and its components. The GDP above, the total metric, lags the average recovery but does exceed the worst. Yet there is a major concern that even the worse is nearing where we are now. Growth is consistently slow. There now is a clear concern that the recovery may be so weak as to fall below the min curve.

Consumer consumption is a problem since it now defines the bottom at this point as shown above. This has been the aggregate demand argument but it is a combination of fear and reduced credit as well as unemployment, real not the DoL type. The consumption number is a major concern since at one level fewer taxpayers means less revenue and more unemployed means higher benefits and thus expenditures.

Government consumption is now lowest. I find this amazing given the deficit and its continued explosion. This is shown below. The real issue is what are  we truly measuring here. It must also be made clear that min, max and avg are not necessarily the same recession recovery so the data may be highly mixed.

The following are the stats on Imports and Exports. First Exports have exceeded the average recovery which is good.

Imports have met average. This is most likely due to reduced consumer demands. However imports reduce GDP and since imports have been several multiples of exports even a flat number may still create a negative effect.
Bottom line, things seem to be getting worse not better.