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The Reagan administration began “CORRECTING” and “ADJUSTING” economic, employment and other data they reported to the people. For the rulers, it was a breakthrough. The hidden part of the Reagan economic miracle was that they printed their way to economic success. The real magic was that people did not know because the published numbers were cooked, I mean “adjusted” to make sense for the little people.

Cooking the books has been “improved” regularly ever since.

There are ways to cut the fog, but it does take work. John Williams does the work and publishes the real data side by side with the cooked data. He sells subscriptions with in-depth analysis, but gives away the charts and information I show below. He only asks that I publish it exactly as he shows it and provide links to his site. I did that. The links all take you to shadowstats.com.

– Ted –

John Williams’
Shadow Government Statistics
Analysis Behind and Beyond Government Economic Reporting

 


Year to Year Change

Changes in money supply have implications both for domestic economic activity and inflation, as discussed in the previously mentioned Money Supply Special Report.

Here we show year-to-year growth as a measure of the changing money supply.

Note: A downward slope in this growth curve does not necessarily mean that the money supply is dropping. Only if the curve goes below zero does that show money supply having contracted over a full twelve months.

Also, for money supply changes over periods of less than a year, such need to be viewed on a seasonally-adjusted basis. Unadjusted change over short periods may show changes that are little more than regular seasonal variations. Short-term changes also may run counter to year-to-year change, as seen in the latter part of 2009, for example.
 


 

CPI Year-to-Year Growth

The CPI-U (consumer price index) is the broadest measure of consumer price inflation for goods and services published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

While the headline number usually is the seasonally-adjusted month-to-month change, the formal CPI is reported on a not-seasonally-adjusted basis, with annual inflation measured in terms of year-to-year percent change in the price index.

In the charts to the right we show two SGS-Alternate CPI estimates: One based on the pre-1990 official methodology for computing the CPI-U, and the other based on the methodology which was employed prior to 1980. 


 

Unemployment

The seasonally-adjusted SGS Alternate Unemployment Rate reflects current unemployment reporting methodology adjusted for SGS-estimated long-term discouraged workers, who were defined out of official existence in 1994. That estimate is added to the BLS estimate of U-6 unemployment, which includes short-term discouraged workers.

The U-3 unemployment rate is the monthly headline number. The U-6 unemployment rate is the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) broadest unemployment measure, including short-term discouraged and other marginally-attached workers as well as those forced to work part-time because they cannot find full-time employment.
 


 

Gross Domestic Product

Annual Growth (Year-to-Year Percent Change) in GDP is shown in the chart on the right. This is not the annualized quarterly rate of change that serves as the headline number for the series.

Note: The GDP headline number refers to the most-recent quarter’s annualized quarter-to-quarter rate of change (what that quarter’s percent quarter-to-quarter change would translate into if compounded for four consecutive quarters).

This can mean that the latest quarter can be reported with a positive annualized growth rate, while the actual annual rate of change is negative. Such was the case for the 3rd quarter of 2009.