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GDP report could overestimate residential investment

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Today, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released their first installment of the Q2 2010 GDP report showing that the economy continued to expand with real GDP increasing at an annualized rate of 2.4% from Q1 2010.

On a year-over-year basis real GDP increased 3.17% while the quarter-to-quarter non-annualized percent change was 0.59%.

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It's important to note that with today's release the BEA has incorporated the annual revision to the national income and product accounts (NIPAs) which updates estimates running all the way back to Q1 2007.

A note of caution as well... as I pointed out last October, the BEA seriously overestimated the rebound in fixed residential investment first estimating that Q3 2009 came in at +23.4%, a faster rate than any during the entirety of the housing bubble.

This "estimate" was more than suspicious, it was just flatly wrong and now, after multiple revisions, reflects a much more tepid 10.6% rate.

And yet now, for Q2 2010 the BEA is again estimating that fixed residential investment expanded at a rate of 27.9%!!

With results like these, it's safe to say that the BEA is having serious trouble with accuracy, possibly as a result of the severity our current decline, and that these GDP report should be viewed with a high degree of skepticism.

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