Thursday, July 26, 2012

May Travel Volume +2.3%, Largest Gain Since 2009

The Federal Highway Administration (FHA) reported recently that "travel on all roads and streets" in the U.S. increased by 2.3% in May compared to May 2011.  That was the largest monthly gain in motor vehicle travel since a 2.8% increase in November 2009, two and-a-half years ago (see chart above). On a year-to-date basis, traffic volume through May this year is 1.2% higher than the same period last year.

The May gain in monthly traffic volume was widespread geographically across all five regions of the country, with especially strong increases of 3% in the "North Central" and "South Gulf" regions. Additionally, the FHA reported that its "moving 12-month total of vehicle miles traveled" increased by 5 billion miles in May, which was the largest monthly improvement in that measure of traffic volume since August 2007. 

MP: The strong increase in May traffic volume over last year, along with the year-to-date improvement over last year and the strong gain in the 12-month total of miles traveled,  provide some additional evidence of a economy growing moderately, with no danger yet of being on the front edge of another recession.   

59 Comments:

At 7/26/2012 1:10 PM, Blogger Che is dead said...

What this story needs is a juxtaposition:

"California’s Middle-Class Exodus", Reason

"Occupy this: Wall Street Hollowing Out to Escape NYC Taxes", American Interest

"Still leaving Illinois: An exodus of people and money", Illinois Policy Institute

 
At 7/26/2012 1:26 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

more context. how much is related to lower gas prices and are we talking about passenger cars or trucks?

 
At 7/26/2012 2:01 PM, Blogger Rufus II said...

What makes this really interesting is that it took place during a period that, IIRC, gasoline sales were running approx. Down 4% YOY.

This is why I think we'll outlast Europe in the current "crisis." We have a lot of low-hanging fruit (ala: low efficiency vehicles to be traded for high mileage vehicles.)

When you trade a 2003 Tahoe for a 2012 anything you'll most likely achieve a 50% Decrease in Fuel Used.

Europe is already just about as fuel efficient as they can get. (It's not whether we can outrun the "bear;" it's whether we can outrun Europe - at least, in the short run.)

 
At 7/26/2012 2:07 PM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

The data from the FHA is a little confusing.

Weekday commuting miles likely make up most of the miles driven by households. May-2011 had 21 non-holiday weekdays. May-2012 had 22. We should expect an increase in total miles driven from May-2011 to May-2012 simply due to the increase in weekdays realtive to weekend days.

Is that why the FHA estimate shows a 2.2% increase?

The FHA cannot actually measure total miles driven by every household. Instead, they measure hourly traffic counts at 4,000 locations nationwide. FHA then uses the increase for those locations to estimate the increase in total miles driven.

It's not clear from the FHA report whether the FHA adjusts their monthly total miles estimate for the changes in weekdays/weekends from year to year.

 
At 7/26/2012 2:08 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

more context. how much is related to lower gas prices

Lower gas prices probably have a lot to do with it. Lower gas prices mean consumers have more money in their pockets to spend on consumer goods. If fact, if traffic wasn't up and gas prices were down, that would be a huge red flag, I should think (think 2009).

[A]re we talking about passenger cars or trucks?

The report isn't broken down, but given some of the supplementary data, I'd say that it's an increase in both. Either way, it's good economic signs: an increase in passenger traffic means more consumers are out, likely spending their dollars. An increase in truck traffic would be indicative of increased trade among the states and NAFTA partners.

 
At 7/26/2012 2:10 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Jet-

I understand your point (and the data isn't likely seasonally adjusted), but would an extra holiday increase traffic by 2.2%?

I don't know, I am asking. My intuition would say that some of the increase would be due to a holiday, but not all 2.2%

 
At 7/26/2012 2:16 PM, Blogger Rufus II said...

According to that chart, you've actually had gains in five of the last six months; so I suppose it's no a "holiday thing."

And, again, every one of those six months have had declining gasoline sales (from 4 to 6%) YOY.

 
At 7/26/2012 2:19 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Actually, I just ran some numbers. The average commute for Americans is 16 miles. The increase in traffic was 5.7 billion vehicle miles driven. Assuming all 143,202,000 workers in May drove 16 miles to and from work (so 32 round trip), that accounts for 4.6 billion miles. That means 1.1 billion miles was unaccounted for.

 
At 7/26/2012 2:19 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

btw, somebody check my math on that.

 
At 7/26/2012 2:38 PM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

Jon Murphy,

I'm not sure which FHA figure - the 2.2% increase or the 5.7 billion mile increase - is derived from the sample measurement.

The FHA reports explains that they obtain hourly traffic counts from 4,000 locations. Then they determine the % year over year increase in traffic for those same locations. Finally, they apply that increase to the estimated traffic miles from the year before to obtain this years estiamte.

Well, it's not clear if the hourly counts are taken for all hours during the month or just for a few sample hours during the month. Decades ago, when my mother was a traffic engineer's aide, the La Highway Departments only used sample hours.

I'd like to assume the FHA employees are smart enough to account for the shift in weekday to weekend ratio. But something is holding me back from making that assumption.

 
At 7/26/2012 2:43 PM, Blogger marmico said...

Population adjusted vehicle miles driven are at either 1995 or 1998 levels, dependent on the population series employed.

 
At 7/26/2012 2:44 PM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

Jon Murphy,

I think the holidays were the same, and the total number of days were the same. Memorial Day weekend was three days both in 2011 ansd 2012. The only difference between the two months was the shift of a regular weekend day to a regular weekday.

 
At 7/26/2012 2:52 PM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

marmico, that's a good point. One would assume that miles driven would increase with population.

So some of the increased miles would be due to population and some would be due to increased weekdays.

 
At 7/26/2012 2:54 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

You make a good point, Jet. I don't know if they extrapolate or what. I imagine they probably don't. I know in my travels around Mass, they have electric sensors.

 
At 7/26/2012 2:56 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Hm...the only problem I have with the population adjustment is that it doesn't take into account vehicle registrations. That would be a more accurate number, I should think

 
At 7/26/2012 3:03 PM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

OK, here is my non economist angle on increase in traffic miles:

People are driving around in their cars more because of the air conditioning. It's been really hot in the major population regions of the country and gasoline prices are downn quite a bit, so driving is cool(er, ing) again .

 
At 7/26/2012 3:06 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Hm...that's possible, Buddy, but not really cheap, is it? I mean, I imagine people doing this would not be able to sit in a/c at home for one reason or another. I don't think driving is a viable alternate (but I could be wrong).

Besides, this is May data. The average temp in May was 64.3F.

 
At 7/26/2012 3:23 PM, Blogger Mark J. Perry said...

A related population issue is for weekly jobless claims. With increases in population and/or labor force over time, the current 367,000 number of weekly claims would be much more positive if it was adjusted for population changes.

 
At 7/26/2012 3:29 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

The problem with population is isolating the desired demographic. We'd want to focus on drivers or focus on workers. It can get difficult to isolate those groups when looking at population data.

 
At 7/26/2012 3:36 PM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

Jon, May temps were much above normal in 31 states. You are correct, or course, that driving is an expensive way to cool but in the right car it is way cool. :>)

 
At 7/26/2012 3:45 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Jon, May temps were much above normal in 31 states.

Very true, indeed. But i am just wondering if it was "a/c weather."

You are correct, or course, that driving is an expensive way to cool but in the right car it is way cool. :>)

When I was in Vegas in February, I rented a Mustang to drive to Phoenix. That was awesome

 
At 7/26/2012 3:46 PM, Blogger Its GSATT said...

Buddy,

I'm not sure I would go that route. People who cant afford to prioritize a $100 window unit probably are not driving a car new enough that the AC is still blowing cold air.

 
At 7/26/2012 4:13 PM, Blogger Rufus II said...

The 2012 APEAL Study finds that 27% of new-vehicle buyers who replaced a vehicle downsized—i.e., purchased a new vehicle in a smaller segment than the vehicle they replaced. In contrast, only 13% of buyers upsized, while 60% purchased a new vehicle in the same segment as their previous vehicle.

Two Downsize for every One that Upsizes

Also, keep in mind that even those that stay in the same class will probably see a significant mileage gain (ex: F-150 Ecoboost vs Older V-8 Pickup)

So, during that 6 month stretch employment was rising, and automobile efficiency was improving. People could afford to drive more.

 
At 7/26/2012 4:16 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

So, during that 6 month stretch employment was rising, and automobile efficiency was improving. People could afford to drive more


and the same phenomena is killing gas tax revenues and pushing the DOTs towards toll roads.

 
At 7/26/2012 4:38 PM, Blogger bart said...

... the FHA reported that its "moving 12-month total of vehicle miles traveled" increased by 5 billion miles in May, which was the largest monthly improvement in that measure of traffic volume since August 2007.

Correct, and using the exact same data series, here are the last 6 months of distances traveled, including the annual change rate.

2687 -9.8%
2691 -9.5%
2694 -9.2%
2697 -9.1%
2696 -9.0%
2701 -8.6% (+5 billion miles)


Every single month was substantially down from the previous year, and the trend is obvious.

 
At 7/26/2012 4:46 PM, Blogger bart said...

the current 367,000 number of weekly claims would be much more positive if it was adjusted for population changes.

I'd settle for even a little less truly wild variability in the seasonal adjustment values for initial claims.

Surely the seasons don't vary from year to year as much as -20% and +80%, using original BLS values and comparing the exact same weeks in each year.


Initial claims seasonal adjustment values, annual change rates

 
At 7/26/2012 4:52 PM, Blogger bart said...

ooops, that was a 13 month change rate that I just inadvertently posted, here's the 12 month change rate.


2687 -9.6%
2691 -9.3%
2694 -9.2%
2697 -9.0%
2696 -8.8%
2701 -8.5%


Still not exactly looking good.

 
At 7/26/2012 5:03 PM, Blogger Rufus II said...

367,000 is 0.2% of 155,000,000.

Yeah, it seems likely that you could have twenty to eighty percent seasonal movements in a number that small.

 
At 7/26/2012 5:32 PM, Blogger bart said...

ooops again. There were two columns that were being incorrectly not being picked up on the monthly data ("Page 3" in the original file from the DOT).


2955 0.4%
2951 -0.1%
2942 -0.5%
2938 -1.0%
2935 -1.2%
2931 -1.5%
2929 -1.7%
2931 -1.5%
2934 -1.1%
2939 -1.0%
2941 -0.7%
2940 -0.5%
2945 -0.2%

It does look better now and aligns more with other stats like gas usage.


Just built a chart to make up for the goofs.


Traffic volmes vs. gasoline prices, 2005 to date

 
At 7/26/2012 5:41 PM, Blogger bart said...

Rufus II said...

367,000 is 0.2% of 155,000,000.

Yeah, it seems likely that you could have twenty to eighty percent seasonal movements in a number that small.


The comparisons were not done using the actual number of initial claims, but rather the actual seasonal adjustment factors/numbers, the ones used to adjust the NSA actual numbers to derive an SA number of initial claims.

They are MUCH smaller and run between about 75 and 200... and the chart compares the week this year against the week 52 weeks ago.

The seasons from year to year are THAT different?!?

Anyone can do the comparisons yourselves from http://ows.doleta.gov/unemploy/claims.asp , although the numbers may have been revised from mine. That chart is based on the original numbers that were used to derive the originally published numbers.

 
At 7/26/2012 6:21 PM, Blogger bart said...

Continuing claims - seasonal adjustment factors vary much less than for initial claims

 
At 7/26/2012 6:39 PM, Blogger marmico said...

the only problem I have with the population adjustment is that it doesn't take into account vehicle registrations

Vehicle Registrations, Fuel Consumption, Vehicle Miles of Travel and Gallons per Vehicle, indexed to 1987, from 1960-2010.

 
At 7/26/2012 7:37 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Jon M:

"btw, somebody check my math on that."

I don't know about your math, but I don't think it's safe to assume that all 143 million US workers drove to work every day unless the 16 mile/day average commute includes workers who don't drive at all. I don't know how that number is calculated.

 
At 7/26/2012 7:41 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Buddy

"People are driving around in their cars more because of the air conditioning. It's been really hot in the major population regions of the country and gasoline prices are downn quite a bit, so driving is cool(er, ing) again ."

Besides what Jon M. said, I would imagine people who can't afford air conditioning at home would drive to the mall or some other large air conditioned place rather than drive around in their cars.

Based on the assumption that they have time to drive around in their cars, some might even be motivated to get jobs so they could stay cool at work. :)

 
At 7/26/2012 7:46 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Jon M.

"I know in my travels around Mass, they have electric sensors."

And you think they are just counting cars? You silly boy. Vee know ver you are at all times. Vee are vatching you.

 
At 7/26/2012 8:08 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

And you think they are just counting cars? You silly boy. Vee know ver you are at all times. Vee are vatching you.

That's why I don;t travel around Mass too much

 
At 7/26/2012 10:04 PM, Blogger J Scheppers said...

Great work Dr. Perry. After the March numbers came out, I took exception to your data that showed gas prices rose 23% in the months the vehicles miles traveled increased anyway. I claimed that gas prices had not increased materially year over year, and you provided great data that they had in fact had risen in 10% order of magnitude year over year.

May’s numbers we are both on the same page. This is a substantial increase. Again looking at year over year gas prices the average gas price in May did drop slightly, which might have added a little boost, but I would state the availability of NG and other US energy is enabling the growing of the economy. I have no aversion to foreign oil, but US oil and NG create opportunities for US residents to create value that is rewarded in more US GDP.

For the number of working day impacts, weekend day volumes in general are slightly lower than week days, but that difference is not driving the change.

The 4000 locations are loop counters run by the state DOT that are permanent and have 24 hour data. Clearly the data underestimates the impacts of new roads being added. FHWA adjust these numbers at the beginning of the next year which can change the deltas substantially. In 2010 the adjustment changed the 5 year delta in 12-moving averages from negative to positive.

The seasonal adjustment seems to be already accounted for by looking at May to May and using a 12 month moving average.

I personally like the lower per capita VMT story. Yes fewer people may be getting there license, but many people are learning to engage in our economy with a less miles driven method. I also like the long run adjustments story to high energy prices by improve vehicle efficiency.

Several commenters indicated that the long term story still is not good. The slightly cherry picked data shows that May 2004 was materially the same as May 2012. What the FHWA data does not take into account is that there was 1 extra day in this leap year from last year so 0.7% of the 1.2% year over year is accounted for in the extra day.

Changing the subject from VMT, my concern for the US economcy is many folks are saying that many firms have large sums of money on the sidelines in Treasuries. These sideline investments cannot be changed into investments as easily as some suggest. In an upturn some investor is going to have to hold these sideline Treasuries. These are real resources that have been directed by the big G. Some may say the Fed may snatch these excess treasuries up, but that just seems like the Fed soaking the future taxpayer and US resident for current bubble growth.

That all said May travel numbers were beautiful for US growth and the continued moderate energy prices should help to sustain the growth.

 
At 7/26/2012 10:52 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

What makes this really interesting is that it took place during a period that, IIRC, gasoline sales were running approx. Down 4% YOY.

LOL...Have you considered that both reports may not be right?

 
At 7/27/2012 3:15 AM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

J SCheppers: "For the number of working day impacts, weekend day volumes in general are slightly lower than week days, but that difference is not driving the change."

Why do you say that? Do you have any data which show that "weekend day volumes are slightly lower" and not "significantly lower"?

Based on my experiences, I would believe that number of weekend trips are only slightly lower. But not weekend miles.

The extra weekend day in May, 2011, was a Sunday, not a Saturday. For most households, Sunday is probably a far less active day than Saturday.

 
At 7/27/2012 7:57 AM, Blogger J Scheppers said...

Jet Beagle

Attached is source from US DOT showing local trucks only travel type with substantial reduction.

http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ohim/tmguide/tmg2.htm#fig223

The reference to volumes I believe refers to VMT not trips, but this is not absolutely clear in reference.

 
At 7/27/2012 9:05 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

if traffif was up 2.2%, then it would appear that we have a rising traffic/gdp ratio.

the number for q2 just hit and was 1.5% from a year ago, itself not a great number, but also a really fishy one.

they used 0.7% as a deflator, not even half of cpi for q2 and another huge divergence in inflation assumptions between the bea and bls (this has been chronic for a year and has accounted for most of the reported gdp growth)

if we deflate gdp at the 1.7% ish cpi, we get a growth figure that looks more like 50bp, which is pretty much stall speed. this has been true in the last several q's as well.

gdp-d was 0.7% for q2 vs 1.7%
2.6% in q1 vs 2.8% cpi
1.1% in q4 vs 3.45% cpi
1.9% in q3 vs 3.8% cpi

use cpi as a deflator and you get gdp growth of (approx):

q3: 10bp
q4: 65bp
q1: 1.7%
q2: 50bp

this makes for an average gdp growth rate of 73bp over the last year and even that paltry figure comes more than half from q1, which is just weather.

q1 1012 was very mild and q1 2011 was wall to wall blizzard.

sure, gdp has limits as a wat to measure the economy and is far fromt he only thing we should look at, but in the face of 3 of 4 of the last q's being under 65bp of growth, it's pretty difficult to make the case that much growth is going on.

the biggest "stimulus" to gdp has been the bea using such low deflators.

 
At 7/27/2012 9:51 AM, Blogger marmico said...

the number for q2 just hit and was 1.5% from a year ago

No, that's quarter over quarter. The year over year real growth rate is 2.2%.

 
At 7/27/2012 10:12 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

i see you point about yoy and you are correct. i did not write that clearly.

the 1.5% number is an annualized rate from q1-q2.

Real gross domestic product -- the output of goods and services produced by labor and property
located in the United States -- increased at an annual rate of 1.5 percent in the second quarter of 2012,

if we take the yoy figure and use cpi, we get 1.1% growth, but again, this is driven mostly by q1 and the weather issue.

looking at the annualized figures, we see very low growth apart from one blip and a return in q2 to the anemic growth of h2 2011 (assuming you believe cpi).

my point is that this seems to bolster the "warm winter blip" hypothesis and make arguments about the economy getting better look questionable.

 
At 7/27/2012 11:36 AM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

Ron H states:

"Based on the assumption that they have time to drive around in their cars, some might even be motivated to get jobs so they could stay cool at work. :)"

Ron, perhaps your most preposterous logic ever... :>)

Basically, seriously, Prof. Perry has pointed out that people are driving more and that is a sign of more strength in the economy.

 
At 7/27/2012 12:54 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

"
Basically, seriously, Prof. Perry has pointed out that people are driving more and that is a sign of more strength in the economy."

1. it's not terribly clear just why that would be. why does driving generate economic activity?

2. this dataset is nothing like accurate enough to make these sorts of determinations.

3. as jet and jon pointed out, it's not really apples to apples as this may had an extra commuting day based on calendar issues.

this just does not seem like a particularly good or accurate economic barometer.

 
At 7/27/2012 12:58 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

1. it's not terribly clear just why that would be. why does driving generate economic activity?

The idea, Morganovich, is people feel as though they have the extra cash to drive. When money is tight, people will drive less often (save on gas). They will lump as many trips together as possible. When they feel as though they have more money, they will drive more often.

The driving activity is not economic activity per se; it's more of an indicator.

 
At 7/27/2012 1:13 PM, Blogger Mark J. Perry said...

If you look at the sharp drops in traffic volume in 2008, that coincided with the onset of the recession, although rising gas prices also had an effect. But even after gas fell below $2 per gallon by the end of 2008, traffic volume was still declining.

 
At 7/27/2012 1:16 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

But even after gas fell below $2 per gallon by the end of 2008, traffic volume was still declining.

That is what I think is most telling from this data. If we were facing/in a recession, then I would expect mileage driven to fall despite the decline in gas prices. The fact that people are driving more in reaction to lower prices is, I think, a good thing.

 
At 7/27/2012 1:35 PM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...


Basically, seriously, Prof. Perry has pointed out that people are driving more and that is a sign of more strength in the economy."

1. it's not terribly clear just why that would be. why does driving generate economic activity?


morgan, it's a sign of more economic acitivity and not necessarily the driver. Maybe you are going to drive the M series vehicle a little more this summer.

 
At 7/27/2012 1:37 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

jon-

i get what you and mark are saying, but i do not think it really holds.

sure, you can get some effect from things like commuting, but you also face big trend like where people live etc.

it's a very noisy, questionable series.

(an i know a fair bit about this, my dad used to sit on the fed highway board committee for traffic control)

you saw a large persistent drop in 2011.

you saw a drop in late 2009 as well.

these do not appear correlated much to economic output (unless we had a mid 2011 recession).

just pointing at 2008 seems like a cherry pick.

what about 2011?

this series will, of course, have a population based upward trend over time and that same trend affects GDP, but, while that may result in some correlation, that does not make one an indicator for another or provide a causal link.

http://ycharts.com/indicators/us_monthly_total_vehicle_miles_traveled/chart#series=type:indicator,id:us_monthly_total_vehicle_miles_traveled,calc:&zoom=10&startDate=&endDate=&format=real&recessions=false

look at the 10 year trend in miles.

does that look correlated to gdp to you?

i just do not see this one as an indicator.

 
At 7/27/2012 2:07 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

I don't disagree, Morganovich. It is hardly the best series without knowing more about it. Maybe someday, when I am sufficiently bored, I'll do some research on this and see what link can be found (for example, "y-o-y activity needs to drop below X% for it to indicate a recession" or "no recession has occurred when growth has been positive").

That being said, I still think this may be indicative of no immediate recession (keep in mind, I am still expecting a recession come 2H2013. I just want to remind everyone so next year, I can say "Called it!")

 
At 7/27/2012 2:30 PM, Blogger marmico said...

does that look correlated to gdp to you?

No, because there is seasonality to VMT.

Real GDP and 12 month moving average VMT from FRED shows some correlation.

 
At 7/27/2012 3:48 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

my point is that this seems to bolster the "warm winter blip" hypothesis and make arguments about the economy getting better look questionable.

Mark has mistaken the benefits from an abnormally warm winter for signs of an economic recovery. I think that the actual data tells us a different story, which is why the Fed will go ahead and do another round of QE or something similar to avoid a crash.

 
At 7/27/2012 4:03 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

"
Real GDP and 12 month moving average VMT from FRED shows some correlation."

some, though it's not great, especially in recent decades.

the interesting thing is that if you look at the slope of the charts of the actual underlying as opposed to % change, they have had different slopes for some time.


peak VMT has been dropping since 2006ish and peak 2012 vmt is at about 2002 levels.

this really does not look like much of an indicator to me, especially in the raw data.

the 10 year raw chart is pretty trendless.

 
At 7/27/2012 4:10 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Mark has mistaken the benefits from an abnormally warm winter for signs of an economic recovery.

So, why then, when we adjust for this, do we still see economic expansion?

 
At 7/27/2012 6:49 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

US Industrial Production (as a proxy for US economic activity), smoothed using a 12 month moving average to account for warm winter blips, abnormal months, etc.

We still see growth.

 
At 7/27/2012 8:01 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

So, why then, when we adjust for this, do we still see economic expansion?

The winter 'adjustment' assumed a lot less economic activity due to cold weather. When you have warm weather the adjustment gives you the wrong picture. Part of the housing hype has to do with the 'good' housing start data in the early part of the year when snow and cold temperatures were supposed to keep activity low. Take away the snow and the cold and it is easy to beat expectations. The problem is that by moving forward activity the end of the year numbers will not look as good.

 
At 7/27/2012 8:04 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

That's why we use moving totals, Vangel. We still see economic expansion. Moving totals smooth out all that volatility, black swan events, etc. To dismiss something simply because of when it occurred is like dismissing a baseball team that scored 9 runs in the first inning.

Essentially, what you are saying is "They didn't win the game because they didn't score at the end of the game."

That makes no sense.

 
At 7/27/2012 8:09 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

That's why we use moving totals, Vangel. We still see economic expansion. Moving totals smooth out all that volatility, black swan events, etc. To dismiss something simply because of when it occurred is like dismissing a baseball team that scored 9 runs in the first inning.

Essentially, what you are saying is "They didn't win the game because they didn't score at the end of the game."

That makes no sense.


What makes no sense is thinking that a consumer spending based economy that needs in to add $274 billion in debt to add $118 billion in GDP is 'recovering.'

 

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