Recently there has been a notable media campaign claiming released economic data is either wrong or outright manipulated. Not in China mind you, but here in the U.S. The latest to jump on the bandwagon for economic data correctness is TrimTabs, which released this zinger earlier:
TrimTabs Investment Research estimates that the U.S. economy lost 488,000 jobs in July, considerably more than the consensus estimate of a loss of 305,000 jobs. In addition, TrimTabs expects the Bureau of Labor Statistics to revise its job loss estimates sharply higher for the first half of 2009 based on the latest unemployment insurance survey results.
“While Wall Street is convinced the recession is over, the economy continues to shed jobs at an alarming rate,” said Charles Biderman, CEO of TrimTabs.
TrimTabs’ employment estimates are based on analysis of daily income tax deposits to the U.S. Treasury from all salaried U.S. employees. Historically, TrimTabs’ employment estimates have been more accurate than those of the BLS.
At least someone is using actual data to derive non-propaganda conclusions. TrimTabs continues:
“The personal income report the Bureau of Economic Analysis released Tuesday contained huge downward revisions to wage and salary growth,” said Biderman. “Now that the BEA is using unemployment insurance reports from the first quarter to estimate current wage and salary growth, its data confirms what we have been reporting for months.”
The BEA’s estimates of wages and salary growth changed from year-over-year declines of 0.8% in April and 1.1% in May to year-over-year declines of 4.0% in April and 4.2% in May. Also, the BEA reported that wages and salaries dropped even more sharply in June, falling 4.7% year-over-year.
“Two months ago, we asked BEA economists how they reconciled the huge declines in real-time tax deposits with their report of a modest decline in wages and salaries,” said Biderman. “They could not answer our question. We know now that by ignoring real-time data, the BEA was providing an inaccurate view of the economy’s health.”
While Zero Hedge has been wondering vocally for months why there was never an 8-K released indicating that the second (through fifth)-lien lender formerly known as General Electric had acquired the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Bureau of Economic Analysis, it is about time that some other much more legitimate media outlets than Zero Intelligence started asking the same question.