Saturday, June 15, 2013

Comparing Economic Headlines to the Reconstructed Truth

Reading mainstream reports of economic activity can sometimes be misleading.  I generally trust reports from private sector reporting groups like The Conference Board and the Association of American Railroads because their business members are responsible for results in the real world.  I am less inclined to trust inflation and employment reports from government agencies anywhere in the world because they are subject to politically-directed changes.

I like to compare headlines to the blurbs on Shadow Government Statistics that update one economist's reconstruction of unadjusted US government data.  Shadow Stats has maintained its alarmist tone despite the  mostly positive headline numbers reported in public media for the past year.  Some headlines are beginning to converge with Shadow Stats' larger conclusions.  US wholesale prices have just increased more than what many economists had forecast.  The data caught up to Shadow Stats' notes on rising inflation.

People are free to believe whatever they want.  I am impressed with Shadow Stats' critique of government statistics and that is why I give John Williams' assessments more credibility than what headlines have reported.  I do not feel sympathy for investors who have tied their asset allocations to conventional theories and official data.  Anyone could have searched the web years ago for alternative explanations, just as I have done.