Feds Announce Revision to Historical Econ. Data, White House Claims Recovery ‘Slightly Faster Than Previously Reported’

The U.S. has been recovering from the Great Recession faster than previously thought, according to the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers.

Citing the Bureau of Economic Analysis’ “comprehensive” revision to the National Income and Product Accounts, Alan B. Krueger said Wednesday the new data show’s things are a bit brighter than “originally reported.”

The BEA revision dates back as far as 1929.

“The revision showed that the recovery from the Great Recession has been slightly faster than previously reported,” he writes, “with real gross domestic product (GDP) expanding by a cumulative 8.5% from 2009:Q2 to 2013:Q1, compared to the previous estimate of 8.1% growth over that period.”

GDP measures the total output of goods and services.

“Including the advance estimate for 2013:Q2, real GDP has risen by 9.0% since the business-cycle trough in 2009:Q2,” he adds. “In addition, real GDP surpassed its pre-recession peak in 2011:Q2, two quarters sooner than was reported prior to the revision, and is 4.4% higher than it was at the business-cycle peak in 2007:Q4.”

The post continued, explaining the revision to the national accounts, the first since July 2009, includes “additional source data received by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, as well as methodological changes designed to better reflect the evolving nature of the U.S. economy.”


Still, although the data revisions “offer a slightly recalibrated view of the economy in recent years, the findings do not change the overall picture,” the Wall Street Journal points out.

“Despite the conceptual changes, we really have not rewritten economic history,” said Brent Moulton, a senior economist with BEA, who noted unchanged business cycles and very little revisions over the “span of history.”

Here’s Krueger’s complete blog post:

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(H/T: Weekly Standard). Featured image whitehouse.gov