Tuesday, August 12, 2008

USA As Export Superpower; +3% Real GDP in QII '08

From First Trust economists Brian Wesbury and Bob Stein:

The U.S. is becoming an export superpower. The trade deficit declined substantially in June, with exports up 21.1% versus last year, the fastest growth in the past twenty years (see chart above). Largely as a result of this report, the real GDP growth rate in the second quarter is likely to be revised up to about 3% versus the 1.9% originally reported.


At 8/12/2008 10:55 AM, Blogger Ironman said...

We can only hope so - and if it happens, Wesbury and Stein would have a real feather in their cap as they were the only ones who had forecast that level.

At 8/12/2008 6:46 PM, Blogger the buggy professor said...

A very encouraging post, which should give everyone a jolt of hope and optimism for the US economy's growth in the next few quarters.


A question does prompt itself here --- a technical matter.

Specifically, when the Bureau of Economic Analysis issues its first preliminary report on GDP growth in the previous quarter --- usually about a month after that quarter's end --- doesn't it have access to the data on US imports and exports?

More to the point, wouldn't it be easier to track imports and exports --- the former, presumably, all or overwhelmingly recorded by US customs officials unless it's just a personal import . . . say, a French book ordered from Amazon in France?


Granted: exports might be harder to track, especially in the service area --- say, to stay with the same example, Amazon USA sales to Canada or Britain --- but it does seem odd that that the initial reporting by the BEA was so much off track, even if, at times, its subsequent reports show discrepancies with the preliminary GDP estimates and even with, quarters later, maybe the official "final one."


Michael Gordon, AKA, the buggy professor

At 8/12/2008 8:06 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

Just curious... do any of these stats attempt to measure or identify the value of the pirated IP floating around?

I suspect that this is both vastly overrated and vastly underrated -- whatever numbers they use, the aggregate loss (official price X qty) is probably vastly over-estimated, since you cannot assume that any specific pirate actually would pay the asking price (or even could, in many cases) for what they pirate, if they had to actually purchase it. Various members of the eternally clueless continue to base their numbers on this assumption.

OTOH, I suspect that the amount of actual piracy going on is much, much higher than estimated, so if the creators were getting a few pennies off each pirate, they'd be a hell of a lot better off than people think.

Hence, I believe that the valuation of value lost to piracy manages the rather strange trick of being both vastly overrated and vastly underrated at the same time.

At 8/12/2008 9:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, if Brian Wesbury said it . . .

You can make some good money betting the other way.


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