CBO Estimates Stimulus Boosted Q2 GDP By 4.5%, Standalone Number Is Likely Under Around -3.5%

Tyler Durden's picture

Due to the various inventory and trade deficit overestimates by the CBO, the initial Q2 number is about to be revised much lower: realistically, it will come out at under 1%, although that will likely be saved for the second and final revision: therefore the adjusted number to be reported on Friday will likely be around 1.8%. Yet the real kicker is not that the government has ramped up data fudging to make poor China blush like a rank amateur, but that according to the CBO, of whatever the final Q2 GDP number is, 4.5% came from the stimulus. In other words, take away the end of the fiscal boost and the economy is accelerating its relapse into depression, just as Rosenberg (and Zero Hedge) have been claiming for about a year, over the din of the cheerleaders on propagandavision.

From Reuters:

The massive stimulus package boosted real GDP by up to 4.5 percent in the second quarter of 2010 and put up to 3.3 million people to work, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said on Tuesday.

CBO's latest estimate indicates that the stimulus effort, which remains a political hot potato ahead of the November congressional elections, may have prevented the sluggish U.S. economy from contracting between April and June.

Economists surveyed by Reuters expect that revised numbers due out on Friday will show that the economy grew at an anemic 1.4 percent pace during that time period -- less than the boost of at least 1.7 percent that the stimulus provided, according the CBO estimate.

Additionally, in appropriating of concepts from Alternative Unvierse theories, the CBO somehow estimates that the stimulus created up to 3.3 million jobs.

[The stimulus] raised employment by between 1.4 million and 3.3 million jobs during the second quarter of this year, CBO estimated.

Measured another way, CBO said the stimulus increased the number of full-time equivalent jobs by up to 4.8 million, as part-time workers shifted to full-time work or employers offered more overtime work.

So now that the stimulus is tapering off, America has the following rather unpleasant things to look forward to: a 4.5% reduction in run rate GDP as the direct economic boost disappears, the gradual loss of 1.4 to 3.3 million of jobs, and the eventual realization that non-recurring, one time items can not be projected into perpetuity, despite what Keynesian dogma may preach.

h/t Mark's Market Analysis

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redpill's picture

So the question is are they understating that so things don't look as bad as they are, or are they overstating it to use as perverted evidence that government intervention is beneficial?


Breaker's picture

Well, the initial value is usually. That makes things look good.

Then, it is revised downward. That looks bad. But the press hardly reports on it and the public wouldn't understand even if they did.

The advantage of this is that when the next quarter's initial overstated value comes out, they can claim a big increase quarter over quarter from the downward revised previous quarter value. The press reports this and the public thinks they understand it.

That's how you can get 8% growth in GDP over a year in the press when the real number is more like 1%.

Hang The Fed's picture

Hahaha, yet another turd that's been perfumed for popular consumption, only to be revealed as the farce that it is at a time when only a very few are looking.  We're totally fucked.

StychoKiller's picture

All the Fed has done is place another mile of Detonation Cord between the charge and the igniter, solving NOTHING!

Robslob's picture


Enough with statistical gymnastics...stimulus sucked wealth of future generations for a quarterly bump for bankers and stock razzers and we expect our younger generations to get a job AND pay for it...

What happened to long term planning...oops I just shit my pants when I said "long term"...

Alcoholic Native American's picture

The Empire of Quarterly profits doesn't think long term.  Make no mistake, that is what this entity masquerading as the U.S. government is now.  The only thing they are thinking long term on is the perfectly labeled "Long War".

knukles's picture

"....this entity masquerading as the U.S. government is now...."

A Criminal Enterprise

Dismal Scientist's picture

Anyone surprised ? Oh you, Tripps ? Wondered where you'd slunk off to.

Mark4124's picture

My question is why the hell so many economists, including the boys over at GS who are starting to see the light, are still saying the risk of a double dip is 25-30%. When stimulus ends and States and Local Governments fire all those who they must fire to balance their budgets (for example here in the City of Dallas they are going to can about 415), GDP has to go negative. There is simply no question about it.

redpill's picture

Because nothing they release publicly would forecast certainty of deflation as it is an anathema to their central planner symbiotes.


NotApplicable's picture

Why? Because that is the script, er... I mean, the consensus.

As for GS "starting to see the light," I'll point out that they are the ones holding the script.

deadparrot's picture

Corporate economists are paid to be publicly optimistic and privately realistic. Goverment economists are paid to deliver whatever interpretation will let them keep their jobs.

Caviar Emptor's picture

Because it's not "Double Dip" they'd be predicting, it's the next leg down in a structural decline ie a depression due to a failing economic model. All the old voodoo don't work anymore. And that scares them.

Thomas's picture

8% is a rounding error for these guys.

Mako's picture

The government was able to slow the decline, the lemmings are still going to be  liquidated... the date just changed slightly. 

Oh, the lemmings are still living in the good times, the collapse and liquidation of the non-funded liabilities is going to be a slow and painful experience this time.

Rainman's picture

sniff sniff......me smells stagflation.

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Dudes, they do not want a high GDP.  They want "deflation".  Of course, they won't tell you that, because they want you to buy their Treasuries, for now, until they don't.

Of course, this is past tense, as we move headlong into the collapse of all collapses.

They keep no balance between karma and dogma, TD.  They never have, and never will.  And this is our chance to run our spear through them.  Their blasphemy is the chink. 

Robslob's picture

If these guys really wanted the lemmings to run off a cliff they would have not extended already extended unemployment benefits?

Another game is being played here and one thing is for sure...everyone is entirely confuse and picking sides while in the state of confusion can be beneficial to the governments health and "welfare"...

Bookem Dano...

bigdumbnugly's picture

This revision B.S.

it's like the guy inferring to the new date in casual conversation that he's got the whole 9".

Then as last call is announced and crunch time gets closer he backs off those specs and begins referring to himself as rather as well-endowed.  Certainly better than average at least.

But when the bedroom door finally opens and the final revision is made, someone won't be happy.  But he won't care, when that's done, he's outta there.

ColonelCooper's picture

I used to go from Family Size Bush's Baked Beans, to Chunky Soup, to the inevitable Starkist.

bigdumbnugly's picture

not that i've ever been witness to any such thing...

NOTW777's picture

when do we get an account or apology from obama, geithner, bernanke and all those talking heads who have been louding proclaiming for most of 2010, the "recovery," the rebound, the "improvement," so-called pick-up in employment, etc.

is lying completely accepted now?

homersimpson's picture

You'll more likely to hear Obama say "I hate Whiteys" before you hear an apology from the Obamans..

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Eddie Murphy SNL skit:

Singing a reggae,

"Kill the white people, but buy my record first!"


NotApplicable's picture

You're new to this politics thing, huh?

lizzy36's picture

Remind me when it wasn't completely accepted?

Remember that great day:Mission Accomplished

Welcome to the recovery is just more of the same.

jmc8888's picture

The same day we get one from the republicans, whose ideology in most respects, Obama is only continuing.  Everyone used to love trickle down.  Bailouts are trickle down economics on steroids.  They don't work, just like supply siders are wrong.

None of them will apologize, and they were ALL wrong.

Glass/Steagall or die

Obama won't do it.

Republicans won't do it.

The monetarists of course won't slit their own throat...but they'll slit yours by not passing it!

Once QE2 or Weimar Germany Printing Policy is started, all bets are off.  deflation/hyperinflation will be here.  If we try to fix it AFTER they start Weimar Germany Printing Policy in QE2, especially as once they start, by merely starting it, it confirms the worst of everything, expect the destruction of the world economy to be in short order.

It won't be stagflation.  It won't be 1929.  It'll be more like multiplying every crash in history together, then squaring.  There's nothing the scumbags can prevent.  Because the economy just won't work without Glass/Steagall (in its purest and fullest 1933 form) being in place


RockyRacoon's picture

The person who junked you and moved on is a coward.

Well, maybe just ashamed of being half-illiterate and can't write.

deadparrot's picture

Don't you watch CNN. The dems are now in full "It's all Bush's fault" mode. No reality tv show could ever be as painful to behold as american politics.

lizzy36's picture

Because the all drink the same hopium......


Firm                 Strategist           2010 Close   2010 EPS
Bank of America      David Bianco           1,300       $83.00
Bank of Montreal     Ben Joyce              1,130       $79.00
Barclays             Barry Knapp            1,210       $76.00
Citigroup            Tobias Levkovich       1,175       $84.40
Credit Suisse        Andrew Garthwaite      1,270       $80.00
Deutsche Bank        Binky Chadha           1,375       $84.60
Goldman Sachs        David Kostin           1,200       $81.00
HSBC                 Garry Evans            1,200
JPMorgan             Thomas Lee             1,300       $84.00
Morgan Stanley       Jason Todd             1,200       $77.00
Oppenheimer          Brian Belski           1,300       $78.50
Firm                 Strategist           2010 Close   2010 EPS
RBC                  Myles Zyblock                      $76.00
UBS                  Jonathan Golub         1,150       $84.00
Mean                                        1,234       $80.63
Median                                      1,205       $80.50
High                                        1,375       $84.60
Low                                         1,130       $76.00

traderjoe's picture

Amazing how little dispersion there is...

I was reading one of the early Barron's Roundtables this year - none of the Wall St analysts had GDP growth less than 3%. No one even contemplated the possibility of a stall or a double dip. 

No one wants to lose their job by being less then optimistic, or diverging from the cluster...

william the bastard's picture

You might see a black swan if there only a modest deviation. Kind of waters down the 'WOW" factor a swan sighting might bring. I mean there were 3* perfect games so far this year and 21 Hindenbergs.

mephisto's picture

Deutsche Bank        Binky Chadha           1,375       $84.60

Binky is a clown.

Mark Beck's picture

The range in the report was 1.7 to 4.5.

Meaning the CBO has the accuracy requirement of an atomic weapon.

Any useful information is so old, that it is too late to aid in policy making. Its like an ice berg warning to the Titanic after the collision.

From the report:

"One pitfall of this approach is that the direction of causation between policies and the economy is not always clear. For example, poor economic conditions can prompt the government to enact policies such as ARRA in an effort to boost economic activity. If weak economic performance led to such a policy, it would not be accurate to ascribe that performance to the policy, rather than vice versa. Likewise, if states and localities reduced purchases and laid off employees when their budgets deteriorated in a recession, it would not be accurate to blame the recession on the cuts in government spending. When causation
runs in both directions in this way, the historical correlation between variables is not always the best guide for predicting the effects of a new policy proposal."

The keynesian game plan is based on prior historical norms.

Does this mean that the Administaration premise for the numbers of jobs saved due to ARRA is fundementally wrong?


"Under current conditions—in which interest rates are apt to be less affected than usual by expansionary government policies and in which there are large amounts of idle resources—the effects would probably be greater than they were, on average, in the past."

Translation: The CBO can't (or won't, you be the judge) provide relavent information to congress.

This is the first step in the loss of effective administration. A breakdown in systemic controls. No way to acknowledge the trainwreck, let alone due something to stop it.

The DC political plan, govern by crisis, and try and always look surprised. The trust is gone. Prepare yourself.

Mark Beck

The Alarmist's picture

No, No, No, our atomic weaponry is much more accurate.  The brute force is mostly to get through to very hardened targets, sort of like trying to get a cogent non-keynsian thought into the head of Krugman.

TexasAggie's picture

The CBO claiming to be non-partisan is like a pig claiming to be blonde bombshell if you only will kiss the pig.  The CBO refuses to use dynamic programming and even with hindsight can't get the right answer.

Millennial's picture

If Rocky Racoon you ever read this it's a response:

I don't reconcile it. In college they taught me everything in a convoluted keynesian/classical/neoclassical/ and monetary mess. Fact of the matter the Austrian school was widely ignored however I did read a few good books like Economics in one lesson, wealth of nations, the mystery of capital, meltdown, and handul of others, but there were some other mandatory books mostly by krugman, greenspan, bernanke, and friedman. My interest in the austrian theory piqued when in class I was confused why we never used gold anymore and why house prices were falling.

After a few days of this stuff in class I decided I'd talk to my teacher who presented me "logical arguments" that I couldn't stand against because I was naive. So I did more research into the classical school as I tended to dislike the Keynesian school which to me didn't seem to work anyways. I fell in love with the classical school. I resent neo-classical for compromising with the keynesians, but anyone who listens to the classical school is automatically dismissed as crazy. 

So one day I was surfing round the web on youtube getting my daily dose of crap and I by accident found Peter Schiif was right. This was mid 2008. I watched a few videos and I really liked listening to him. So i did some research on him, initially I couldn't find stuff but as I looked around I kept reading Austrian school and Mises and Ron Paul in video comments. So I looked it up. I found what I had been looking for something that solved all my dilemmas with the various economic schools of thought. 

In short order I began lurking the interwebs and I found zero hedge and I went to that daily. I didn't like it in the beginning because it assaulted my senses of conservatism and my sympathies with the classical school but I found bright spots. Eventually as I read more of Mises.org the world economy came into focus for me and I let go of classical school. Armed with better understanding I began to debate my teacher in class and I often left him speechless or disarmed or dumbfounded. The classmates I don't think understood and honestly I don't think he understood either. As time went on and I graduated we would carry email exchanges and debates. I quickly realized I had the upper hand in nearly every argument. I quickly began to like Ron Paul as well.

I am not really that mad at the Fed for fucking things up for me and perverting my incentives from going to engineering to finance. Annoyed yes, angry, not so much, see I found the beauty in the knowledge I learned through college and post college of how to handle my financial future and what actions and events to look for.

I realize that many people don't like my decision for the Army. But to be perfectly honest I don't care. I didn't cause the depression, I went after the degree for the wrong reasons, but I gained so much in return, I don't plan on shooting brown people (I am brown anyways), and if someone can find me a decent paying job where my financial skills are worthwhile then I would take it, but sitting around on my ass/homeless is not an option. I looked everyday and I sent out 1000's of resumes and cover letters and one day it dawned on me that I was seriously fucked. I had no reputation and I couldn't fix it. So I saw my friends who are in the military and came out of the military most of them are content, but to me it's honest work (though some will disagree). I understand the dangers and consequences of certain actions, but I couldn't find employment not in the economy now. I hope that they see my MBA and encourage me or place me in OCS where later I can end up in some company at a managerial level. It would be nice if they put me as a Engineer officer or financial officer. I didn't want this, I never thought I'd be placed in such a crummy position, but hindsight is 20/20. 

traderjoe's picture

Doesn't one automatically qualify for OCS if you have a college degree upon recruitment? Did you join on that track, or did you enlist as a PFC? I don't know, just askin'. Godspeed...

Millennial's picture

I enlisted at SPC because the list for college officer candidates is 12 months or more from sign up to ship out for basic. 

Most officers only carry Bachelors. I am hoping at the education center and my commander after basic training they see I am not some ho hum potential officer. Captains need a Master's to become Captains from what I understand or it might be Majors. either way I'm ahead of the game just shitty timing.

papaswamp's picture

I did the same way back when....far better to learn how things work from the ground up first...and go to jum school and pathfinder school....then you will BA...besides officers get seriously ragged on going through jump.

Millennial's picture

BA? I'm still not used to military expressions yet. 

traderjoe's picture

12 month wait? Wow. Given that enlistment these days carries the significant *risk* of combat deployment, it amazes me that there is a wait list. Given the economy and the unemployment of recent college grads, I guess I can understand. The signs of the Depression are all around us...lots of ppl hoping they just go away...

Conrad Murray's picture

I know two recruiters and both told me the expansion quotas from a couple years back, 2006ish, have now been met.  The Army is overwhelmed with applicants.  That means standards are once again going up, waivers are near impossible to get, and most recruiters aren't going to be doing serious work again until October(new fiscal year).  If you go and sign the papers today, you probably won't ship until mid-January unless you go for one of the high priority MOSs.

TexasAggie's picture

Congradualtions on choosing 21B - combat engineer/ You get to play wiht fun stuff and blow things up.  I spent 28 yrs in the reserves and on active duty and retired from the reserves in 1994.

I currently work as engineer for the Army and enjoy my profession.

good luck.

RockyRacoon's picture

Hello again, and thanks for the reply.  First off, I wish you all the luck that you can find.  I spent 4 years in the Air Force, got out in 1973.  As the saying goes, I loved every minute of it but wouldn't want to do it again.  The military is NOT for the contrarian.  But a smart guy can get by for quite a while.  I think the biggest lesson I learned was that it was not all about me.  On the larger view, they could have cared less about me as an individual.  I almost preferred that.

Your education will serve you well.  It's just as important to know what not to believe in as to know what is important.  At the risk of going overboard I will strongly suggest that you investigate FOFOA.  If you know the acronym, then great.  If not, you are in for a real treat.  It all started back in 1997.  Here are some links for starting out:


I have a feeling we have not heard the last from you!


The Alarmist's picture

Nah, that can't possibly be true, because Say-it-Aint-So-Joe and our Maximum Leader O have assured us (via the Ministry of Truth, AKA CNBC; Bloomberg, MSNBC, CNN, etc.) that this is the Summer of Recovery (not to be confused with the Summer of Love that the Hopium crowd are all waxing nostalgic for).

The economy is now in the hands of those lovable acid-dropping, dope-smoking, pipe-bomb-planting free-lovers of Woodstock days and their children ... and it shows.