Posts filed under “Finance”
SOURCE: Chart of the Day
The average trend in industrial production during the first 24 months of every economic expansion from 1954 to 2000. For comparison, the chart also includes industrial production for the expansion that began in March 1991, as well as the current expansion that began in November 2001.
The chart shows the present anemic economic expansion. Chart of the Day notes that “industrial production is one of a handful of indicators that the NBER uses to date recessions and the overall trend has been down since July 2002.”
This chart provokes thinking along two specific lines: First, this recovery is one of the most feeble post recessionary periods we’ve seen since WWII. Secondly, from a broader perspective, it confirms the overall trend of the country’s economic base moving away from manufacturing and towards service oriented businesses. (See Not-so-Random Items below for a variety of articles on this topic).
About six months ago, Professor Boskin, an economist at Stanford who was chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under the first President George Bush, released a paper suggesting that the federal government had a bounty of $12 trillion coming that no one had bothered to count.
Baby boomers and others, who spent decades making tax-free contributions to their I.R.A.’s and 401(k) plans, would soon begin paying taxes on withdrawals from those accounts, Professor Boskin noted. The windfall from all that, he argued, would more than cover the deficits in Social Security and Medicare.
But now it appears that Professor Boskin fired a blank. On July 17, after his ideas were discussed on TV, he quietly notified his colleagues that his equations contained an error. Though he is busily overhauling his paper even now, his latest moment of fame may have already passed.