Wednesday, February 03, 2010
Inventories were responsible for $105.7 billion of the $182 billion change in GDP in quarter 4. This is just another way of saying pay attention to final sales of domestic product instead, which was up 2.2%. Up, yes. Up more than the previous quarter, yes. But again it needs to reach a more sustainable level.
As to Prof. Taylor's earlier point, worth noting that personal income less transfer payments has fallen by 4.1%. As many people are now learning, those transfers don't last forever, and spending on their basis may be more tentative than spending from income one thinks is more permanent. Seems we learned about this once. Between transfers and inventories, we are seeing a good deal of this statistical recovery based on temporary phenomena.