CEPR - Center for Economic and Policy Research


En Español

Em Português

Other Languages

Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press The Great Escape

The Great Escape

Sunday, 05 June 2011 10:32

I will be on vacation and not blogging until Thursday, June 16.

So until then, don't believe anything you read in the newspaper.

Comments (15)Add Comment
written by bailey, June 05, 2011 3:24
If you land in SoCal, dinners on me. Enjoy!
"So Until Then..." - that won't be too difficult.
written by Union Member, June 05, 2011 3:42


Is this headline the truth, a lie, hypocrisy, or oxymora? (A Clue: Gates describes it as a no-brainer.)
enjoy your vacation..
written by Jim Nichols, June 05, 2011 5:01
its well deserved time off...
written by Donnie Osmond, June 05, 2011 6:06
Thanks for your hard work. Enjoy the time off! You earned it!
vacation time
written by John Maynard, June 05, 2011 11:51
Have a great vacation! You've been doing "God's Work", and deserve the R&R.
Consumer Spending
written by Tony, June 06, 2011 5:30
Dean just wrote a very good article with The New Republic.

The only thing I would disagree with him on, is that he says that consumer spending is weak, but the data just does not support it. Since mid 2010, consumer spending has been on fire, and averaging almost 1% per month, which is almost double what we normally get. The savings rate has also dropped from 6.2% in mid 2010, to 4.9% today. The most amazing thing to me, is with all the spending the average consumer has done in the last ten months, employment numbers have not improved much at all. Which makes me wonder, how much do we expect people to spend, before we will be back to anywhere near full employment.
written by Joe K, June 06, 2011 8:59
Well enjoy, but also get the Danes back in gear if you're in the area. We need all the examples of progressive successes we can get!
Tony, Nominal goods strong, real consumption not so much!
written by Joe K, June 06, 2011 11:48
Tony, I assume you're referring to the nominal or inflated value of goods (durables and non-durables), which has grown close to the 1% per month you refer to. But Dean is referring to overall real (inflation adjusted) consumption. Of this goods are around 35% with services the balance.

The following overall personal consumption numbers come from the BEA.gov website April personal income (and consumption) report. (See tables 6 & 8). Annualized % growth in the quarter, nominal followed by real:

2010 Q3: 3.2%, 2.4%; 2010 Q4: 5.8%, 4.0%; 2011 Q1: 6.0%, 2.2%. In April 2011, real consumption growth was less than 1% annualized. Q4 real consumption at 4% was solid, but that was the exception, so I think Dean's statement that consumption has been weak is fair. Moreover, the way April 2011 started (and May's weak auto sales), we'll be lucky to hit 2% real growth this quarter.

Personal consumption is about 70% of GDP, meaning a 2% growth this quarter would add about 1.4% to GDP. With Govt spending and construction weak and business investment unlikely to keep growing as fast as it has in the last 18 months, we will likely see GDP growth at 2% or less in Q2. Unless net exports or inventory growth give us a boost!
written by bg, June 07, 2011 7:47
Have a great vacation. Thanks for the wonderful TNR article.
Great line
written by floccina, June 07, 2011 4:27
Great line!

So until then, don't believe anything you read in the newspaper.
While the Cat's Away -- And Now for Something Completely Different...
written by Hugh Sansom, June 08, 2011 6:22
NPR still hasn't heard about the housing bubble.

Today (Wednesday, 8 June 2011), NPR has its favorite pathological liar from the world of economics — Mark Zandi of Moody's. Zandi thinks people should be buying. NPR scrounges for some other mouthpiece of the real estate industry airing much the same line.

No mention — of course — that housing prices might still be too high, even with the price declines. And no mention — of course — that demand might be low (and prices declining) because people can't afford to buy and can't get a loan even if they can afford to do so.

The combination of sheer idiocy and malicious deceptiveness in NPR's economics reporting is something to behold.
written by Calgacus, June 10, 2011 4:04
So until then, don't believe anything you read in the newspaper.

If the newspapers were really smart, they would take Dean's vacation as a time to start printing the truth here and there for a change. Heh, heh, heh. The best way to lie is to tell the truth unconvincingly.
written by Steve Lightner, June 15, 2011 10:39
Only one more day and then some refreshing and insightful reading again. Tick, tick, tick.
written by Micky, June 15, 2011 7:06
I thought the going away note was pretty funny... sent it to many friends
written by Joe K, June 16, 2011 4:04
It's the 16th man and I'm starving for the TRUTH!!

Write comment

(Only one link allowed per comment)

This content has been locked. You can no longer post any comments.


Support this blog, donate
Combined Federal Campaign #79613

About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.