New GDP Measures: It's Good to be Up to Date, But...

From the FT recently, via MoneyNews:

"The U.S. economy will grow 3 percent larger in July because the government is tweaking certain statistics that add billions of dollars in intangible assets to the gross domestic product (GDP), according to the Financial Times.

The revisions are aimed at more accurate tracking of changes in U.S. output and include the addition of factors such as spending on research and development (R&D), the impact of creative works such as movies and music and defined pension benefit schemes.

"We are carrying these major changes all the way back in time — which for us means to 1929 — so we are essentially rewriting economic history," Brent Moulton, manager of national accounts at the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), told the Times."

Of course it is a positive to have statistics with as much importance as GDP reflect reality as accurately as possible. Let's just hope no one takes credit for rising GDP next time numbers are released...

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