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IIIQ17 to IIQ21 GDP (% Yearly Change) vs. Productivity (% Yearly Change)

United States Gross Domestic Product vs. Productivity Growth




United States Gross Domestic Product vs. Productivity
(Year to Quarter; not seasonally adjusted)
Quarter/Year GDP (% Change) Productivity (% Change)
I/2018
2.8*
1.3
II/2018
2.9
1.3
III/2018
3.0
1.3
IV/2018
3.0
1.8
I/2019
2.7
2.4
II/2019
2.3
1.8
III/2019
1.9
1.5
IV/2019
2.2*
1.8
I/2020
0.6*
0.7
II/2020
-9.0
2.8
III/2020
-2.6
4.0
IV/2020
-1.9
2.4
I/2021
0.5
4.1
II/2021
12.6
1.8
III/2021
4.7
-0.6
IV/2021
5.4
1.9
* Revised from Final Report

If you haven't done so yet, we recommend that you review the section on how we suggest this data should be interpeted.


Economic Analysis

Unless otherwise stated all references to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or Productivity is based on year to quarter data. For reasons of continuity and comparisons with previous plots, the limits on the present graph has remained the same as before even though the economic decline exceeds those limits. This analysis is based on data obtained from reports issued by the United States Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Department of Labor Statistics.


Productivity

Productivity has increased 1.9% from a year ago. The average quarterly increase over the last four years has been 1.58%. Productivity appears to be returning to more of a normal condition after the pandemic. However, the reason that productivity maybe showing a slight improvement is due to the fact that industry has learned that there are ways that they could produce the same number of units with less workers. This may indicate a trend of future increases.

Economy

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) states that the fourth quarter of 2021 increased at an annual rate of 6.9%. We report the data (taken from BEA reports) as year to quarter, not seasonally adjusted. If the previous quarter was good, it will make the next quarter look unchanged or bad. The opposite would be true if the previous quarter was subpar. Our calculation is 5.4%. This still reprsents above average growth. Average is about 1.8%.

Again, we would be remiss if we did not mention inflation. Inflation is on the rise and it is not "transistory". However, we have to keep in mind that to show progress, the GDP must come in at some level above the level of inflation. It does not. There are very few people that remember the double digit inflation of the 1970-1980s era. Inspite of the high inflation levels, we have adjusted to it and are still here. Presently, inflation is running between 6 to 7%. It may not go much higher as economic kinks are worked out. On the other hand, GDP may continue an upward trend.


Raymond D. Matkowsky


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