Thursday, February 25, 2016

Friday: GDP, Personal Income and Outlays, Consumer Sentiment

by Bill McBride on 2/25/2016 06:58:00 PM

Some interesting analysis from Romer and Romer:

According to an analysis by Gerald Friedman, Senator Sanders’s proposed policies would result in average annual output growth of 5.3% over the next decade, and average monthly job creation of close to 300,000.1 As a result, output in 2026 would be 37% higher than it would have been without the policies, and employment would be 16% higher.

Although we share many of Senator Sanders’s values and enthusiastically support some of his goals, such as greater public investment in infrastructure and education, we also believe it is vitally important to be realistic about the impact of policies on the performance of the overall economy. For this reason, it is worth examining Friedman’s analysis carefully. Moreover, Friedman has made available an extensive report describing his methodology and assumptions, allowing others to examine the specifics of his analysis.

Unfortunately, careful examination of Friedman’s work confirms the old adage, “if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.” We identify three fundamental problems in Friedman’s analysis. ...
• At 8:30 AM ET, Gross Domestic Product, 4th quarter 2015 (Second estimate). The consensus is that real GDP increased 0.4% annualized in Q4, revised down from 0.7%.

• At 10:00 AM, Personal Income and Outlays for January. The consensus is for a 0.4% increase in personal income, and for a 0.3% increase in personal spending. And for the Core PCE price index to increase 0.2%.

• Also at 10:00 AM,University of Michigan's Consumer sentiment index (final for February). The consensus is for a reading of 91.0, up from the preliminary reading 90.7.