The GDP Number Was Great... There Is Just One Huge Problem

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by Tyler Durden
Friday, Jan 26, 2024 - 11:11 AM

Earlier today we reported that according to Biden's Bureau of Economic Analysis, in the fourth quarter US GDP grew at a torrid 3.3% pace, which was a 5-sigma beat to consensus estimate of 2.0% and also came in well above the highest Wall Street forecast. We also laid out the components that accounted for the growth: mostly the lack of inventory destocking (which means growth will be subtracted in Q1 instead), a bizarre jump in exports despite the soaring dollar, and last but not least, a jump in healthcare spending and a surge in RV purchases.

Yes, bizarre, but whether the GDP growth number was realistic or not (spoiler alert: the latter) is less important than what funded said growth. And it is here that we reveal something shocking: the chart below shows the Q4 change in GDP in nominal dollars as well as the corresponding increases in the US budget deficit (because the last time the US actually had a surplus was last century) and the increase in debt. 

The result, for better or worse, speak for themselves: while Q4 GDP rose by $329 billion to $27.939 trillion, a respectable if made up number, what is much more disturbing is that over the same time period, the US budget deficit rose by more than 50%, or $510 billion. And the cherry on top: the increase in public US debt in the same three month period was a stunning $834 billion, or 154% more than the increase in GDP. In other words, it now takes $1.55 in budget deficit to generate $1 of growth... and it takes over $2.50 in new debt to generate $1 of GDP growth!

Needless to say, this is unsustanable, and is why even the St Louis Fed FRED database now admits that total Federal interest payments have surpassed $1 trillion for the first time ever (and are about to go exponential).

So the next time you read something like this from the imposter in the White House...

... respond that today we also learned that our debt grew by $2.581 trillion last year. This means that every dollar in GDP growth cost $1.69 in new debt, and also means that every new job cost futures generations of Americans $957,100.48.

Oh, and before we forget, a reminder that all US jobs created since 2019... have gone to foreign born workers.