Here Is The "Growth" - Inventory Hoarding Accounts For Nearly 60% Of GDP Increase In Past Year

Tyler Durden's picture

As we reported earlier, while on the surface the headline revised Q3 GDP number was a stunner coming at 3.6%, the reality is that more than 100% of the growth from the initial estimate came from a revised estimate of how many private Inventories were stockpiled in the quarter. The reality was that of the $230 billion in total increase in SAAR GDP, $146 billion of this, or over 63%, was due to inventory stockpiling.

So how does inventory hoarding - that most hollow of "growth" components as it relies on future purchases by a consumer who has increasingly less purchasing power - look like historically? The chart below shows the quarterly change in the revised GDP series broken down by Inventory (yellow) and all other non-Inventory components comprising GDP (blue).

But where the scramble to accumulate inventory in hopes that it will be sold, profitably, sooner or later to buyers either domestic or foreign, is seen most vividly, is in the data from the past 4 quarters, or the trailing year starting in Q3 2012 and ending with the just released revised Q3 2013 number. The result is that of the $534 billion rise in nominal GDP in the past year, a whopping 56% of this is due to nothing else but inventory hoarding.

The problem with inventory hoarding, however, is that at some point it will have to be "unhoarded." Which is why expect many downward revisions to future GDP as this inventory overhang has to be destocked.

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Proofreder's picture

Buy Moar, moar, moar !

Gotta SAVE the inventory.


Oh, never mind ...

Proofreder's picture

On second thought, 

If you like your inventory, you can keep it!

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Moar groath!!!

Inventory groath! Unemployment groath! Debt groath!

Groath! Groath! Groath!

SAT 800's picture

you're cracking me up. Yeah. that's about my take on the whole thing. they're "groath" crazy; to use your wonderful word. Any kind will do.

max2205's picture

I don't know. ...don't they get taxed on year end inventory....everything MUST go!

kaiserhoff's picture

Inventory hoarding on a local level is what most of us are doing.

It's another way to say fear and loathing of fiat,

or don't bail me in, Bro.

Upswaller's picture

Tyler says "hoarding" like it's a Bad thing.

hedgeless_horseman's picture



The problem with inventory hoarding, however, is that at some point it
will have to be "unhoarded." Which is why expect many downward revisions
to future GDP as this inventory overhang has to be destocked.



No Limit - Current Rate 29.99%

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

When I practice on the range am I destocking my ammunition inventory?  :)

ParkAveFlasher's picture

"Destocking" ... lol ... I work for a manufacturer of retail consumer products, that was the excuse for our lousy results this quarter ... "retailer destocking" ... which means all prior comparison quarterly results that showed groath simply presented sales without regarding sell-through to a consumer.  Your bullets are consumed when you fire them (I know you know this but for the youngin's I'd like to spell this out).  "Destocking" is the retailers saying to the manufacturers, "all this shit you are making us hold on to, take it back or we will bust your pricing agreements."

Fredo Corleone's picture

"Moar groath !"

I like the look of that. Belongs on a tee shirt or coffee mug, with an image of Krugman.

krispkritter's picture

I refer to it as 'recycling'...shoot it, reload it, shoot it again.

Oldwood's picture

So you are saying we should expect a big sale any day? Highly deflationary, no? The slippery slope of stupid shit is heading our way.

ParkAveFlasher's picture

More like, "if you like your production, you can warehouse it your damn self!"  Don't count out brick-and-mortar yet ... I mean, where will you stack all those boxes of debt-financed, manufactured, delivered, non-recyclable low-margin product? 

SWRichmond's picture

SO is this channel-stuffing, or hoarding in expectation of a hyperinflation?  High levels of inventory make no sense in a looming deflation.

RSloane's picture

Forgive the bad analogy but its like this: I have a factory that produces widgets. Very few people can either afford to buy or choose to buy my widgets. However, in order to keep investors I keep making widgets and keep stacking them in a drawer because even though I can't sell them faster than I produce them, each widget is considered an asset. If I want to look like my business is healthy, I keep making widgets because I can print their value in my + ledger even though their existence is financially useless in terms of sales.

Although GM produces far more cars than it can sell, as long as it keeps producing them their books look good in terms of their cars in their inventory are considered assets. At some point GM will have no more room to stash their stock and will have to begin selling more cars for less profit. Eventually they will sell fewer and fewer cars for less and less profit, and presto! we revisit the beginning of the great recession [which we never climbed out of to begin with].


gmrpeabody's picture

OT... Kyle Bass went long GM.

I am still chewing on that.

(or maybe it's not off topic..., maybe it is the topic)

Richard III's picture

Aye, verily - Mr. Bass also went long a pallet of nickels. Indeed, how doth that trade behave since ?

PT's picture

You see, at the end of the Monopoly game, the winner has to stop playing too.  He might have the best properties, the most houses and hotels, he might even own the entire board.  But he has to stop playing too.  Just like everyone else.

PT's picture

The trouble is, even though we know the monetary system has been totally corrupted, we still give way too much "respect" to money.  We have a money problem.  It is an imaginary problem.  We built stuff, therefore we can afford to build stuff.  We have excess unemployed people, therefore we could potentially build heaps more stuff.  Now all this stuff sits around doing nothing, gradually deteriorating and benefitting no-one.  Why?  Because to sell it cheap would destroy future demand - which will never exist anyway because no-one has any money.  Despite people working their guts out all week and producing stuff, they still "don't deserve" to have all this stuff that has been built ... because of some kind of mis-match in the pricing system - which is all imaginary bullshit anyway.

We built it - we can afford to build it.  We got unemployed people?  We can build more stuff.  No-one can afford to buy it?  Your imaginary bullshit pricing mechanism is broken but causing real damage in the real world.  Someone will be paid to destroy stuff when it becomes too cumbersome.  Someone else will say, "There is no better way."

Someone pours milk down the drain because of a power failure preventing the refrigerators from working.  Someone else starves because they can't afford to buy milk.  Time to think what really matters. 

NotApplicable's picture

From what I've read here, this also describes every producer in gov-funded China to a "T."

It's all about keeping up the facade by hooking up to the free money system.

In other words, demand is no longer the driver for production.

To call this "hoarding" is to confuse cause and effect.

RSloane's picture

Exactly. This is not about supply and demand. This is about supply being generated because of how it is accounted for without regard to demand.

PT's picture

Business became so much easier once we stopped depending on customers ...

ParkAveFlasher's picture

There is a feedback loop here that blurs cause and effect.  You can hoard money / access to financing by overproducing and/or overbuying, which begets more of the same.

Clark Bent's picture

Perhaps it also reflects the malinvestment typified by a sclerotic overregulated and overtaxed economy. If we had anything like a free market, we would not be stacking up unaffordable solar panels and windmills (ironic how ironic that is, see Miguel Cervantes on false dragons) but rather sypplying more useful products like a way to get homeowners out of their under-water mortgages. 

MachoMan's picture

I see this sort of response quite a bit...  however, have you stopped to consider that the free market could look exactly like our present economy?

SDShack's picture

You need to take it further RSloane. Businesses stuff the supply chain to pad their books like you say. Then when the inevitable recession hits, they cut production, cut employees and liquidate excess inventory as the buffer for the lack of production. This also pads their books in the recession. Winning on all fronts! MOAR!

MachoMan's picture

Further, if you can outlast your competitors, then you might be able to consolidate into some more "growth" and "return."  (especially when the FDIC sells you a bank on the cheap).

ParkAveFlasher's picture

Channel-stuffing is hoarding.  Manufacturers effectively lock in the lower rates for labor, materials, energy, etc. by overproducing and then selling the non-currently-demanded product into independent distributors, retailers, etc.  Manufacturers thus hoard resources and can possibly beat competitors by taking future resources off the table. 

It's the same problem with all credit booms in which you can't cool the machines down for a second (think I Love Lucy when her and Ethel work the chocolate factory conveyor belt).  You can't really predict what the forward demand will be but if nothing but crap is offered, guess what, nothing but crap will be consumed.  Get ready for a new era in cheesy sweaters, etc.

DeadFred's picture

Such negativity from everyone! Look at the bight side, when things turn seriously south all this inventory will keep the looters happy for days and days.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


when things turn seriously south all this inventory will keep the looters happy for days and days.

...and the more inventory looted, the bigger the writeoff. A win-win all around!

WillyGroper's picture

Don't count out the groath in insurance premiums.

Richard III's picture

"Always Look on the Bright Side of Life !"

-- The Life of Brian, 1979.

Winston Churchill's picture

Just as useful as a goitre.

Now there growth you can believe in.


SRVDisciple's picture

I heard Billy Idol as I read your post. "With a Rebel Yell, Buy Moar Moar Mo-o-ar!"

Pooper Popper's picture

What a Throne of Lies!

BandGap's picture

As the Ten Year Note creeps towards 2.9%.....

Dr. Engali's picture

How long does it take these geniuses to figure out that nobody has any money?

RSloane's picture

Right up until the time someone burns down the genius's home.

alangreedspank's picture

We have an infinite supply of money. It's wealth that's starting to run scarce...

Clark Bent's picture

See Obamacare. The geniuses think it entirely possible that millions of families can pay three times their usual (employer paid) health insurance premiums for $12,000 deductible plans. Maybe they'll take it out of their caviar budgets or the debt service on their Gulfstreams. Socialism always posits that the problem is not material scarcity, but mere unexplained stinginess. To a leftist, there is always plenty of money for everything imaginable, we just need to get the hoarders to release it into the economy. After all, we are the "richest country in the world." Watch how often they repeate that ridiculous phrase as though it justifies their failure to comprehend reality. 

Pooper Popper's picture

Urge to kill rising   fading,fading,,,,,RISING!!!!!!!

Homer Simpson

gjp's picture

As good a reason as any other to sell more gold and BTFATH.  That, and today ends in 'day'.

What makes me curious is the anomaly of the odd sudden rise in gold, like yesterday?  Just a momentary loss of control, or intended to make it still look like a free market?  And now back to your regular programming ....

Byte Me's picture

Got the SOTUS re-elected didn't it?

What's not to like?                   Oh                    how could I have missed it.

ShrNfr's picture

Inventory is a wasting asset with a cost of carry. "Nuff said.

Stuck on Zero's picture

Can't the Fed buy the excess inventory?  All you have to do is call it an "unperforming asset," mark it to retail, and tell Ben to buy it.  A parking lot full of SUVs is worth a heck of a lot more than Treasury Notes or mortgages.



PT's picture

I was hoping I could "help" them with their the excess inventory problem.  In particular, I was hoping I could charge them a "storage fee" while I allowed them to "store" one of the excess autos at my place.  I'd have to drive it about each day of course, just to keep it in peak condition - make sure battery doesn't go flat, seals are bedded properly etc - I may have to charge them a "maintenance fee" as well, just to make sure the inventory stays in tip-top condition.  Needless to say, the vehicle will depreciate a little bit, as I add kms to its odo but it was going to depreciate anyway due to it getting old and next year's model looking different... I think you should offer your services too.  For a "small" fee, we could all sort out this "excess inventory" problem ... 

Byte Me's picture

You didn't make that inventory, someone else did.

90% of problem right there.

Hal n back's picture

another rather subtle reason to build inventory--if your background is as an accoutant--its called overhead absorption. Th emore you make inventory the more overhead you capitalize and put into inventory value. Prope up margins and profits even though as pointed out ther is a cost to carry--a lot of the cost to carry is fixed-building and HLP--the variable cost is cost of money which thanks to fed...


on the other hand, building inventories keeps people wprking--somethign this administration woudl do for obvious reasons--keep the auto union employees working

in 40 days we start hearing abuot shutdowns to manage inventories-just abut the tiem they start debt ceilign discussions at which thime the economy wil be too fragike to cust spending. Although with 1 trillion deficits , the deficit spending amounts to 7% of GDP already. So without deficit spending we are in deep shit--with it we are in less depp shit short term.

Then we sink into it.