I thought the following article from the EIR Strategic Alert newsletter is also in the interest of translators and that one should not believe everything in the business pages of even renowned newspapers:
Yet Another “Recovery” Hoax
On Nov. 5, US Treasury Secretary John SNOW gave an enthusiastic address to the “Economic Club” in Washington.
“We’ve seen a real turnaround this year, and the recovery is clearly solidifying,” he said. Snow pointed to the spectacular 7.2% “growth” figure for US gross domestic product (GDP) during the 3rd Quarter, which had been released by the Commerce Department on Oct. 30. He said, “it seems clear that we have entered a new phase of economic expansion. This is not a fleeting glimmer, there is real muscle behind the growth trend.”
Reality however is quite different. Like the “new economy” bubble of the late 1990s, the new hype about the US economic miracle is again based on two pillars: fraud and debt. According to the Commerce Department, GDP rose from $9,629 billion in the 2nd Quarter to $9,797 billion in the 3rd Quarter, an increase of $168 billion or 1.7%. The 7.2% “growth” rate was fabricated by annualizing, that is by quadrupling, the quarterly growth rate.
However, even the $168 billion figure has been massaged by creative accounting. The factor which officially
contributed the most to the GDP growth during the 3rd Quarter was investments in computers, rising from $354.9 billion to $390.3 billion, if measured in “1996 dollars.” But the Commerce Department admits in the same
report that actual computer sales increased only from $82.4 billion to $88.3 billion. How is this possible? The reason
is the special method of manipulating the original sales data in order to account for changes in the quality of the products, called “hedonic” pricing. To put it simply: The Commerce Department claims that a present computer
with a market price of $1000 in 2003 would have cost $4420 in 1996. Therefore, if any company buys a computer
for $1000, the GDP as calculated by the Commerce Department immediately rises by $4420. Thereby, an increase
in computer sales of $5.9 billion has been turned in to a $35.4 billion rise in the 3rd Quarter, a sixfold increase.
There are other categories besides computer investment where similar methods are being used. The remaining part
of increased GDP was accomplished by the generation of a much larger amount of new debt. In every one of recent
years, US private households, corporations and the governmen thave produced a combined $2 trillion of additional
debt. During the 2nd Quarter 2003, the last figure available, US indebtedness even increased by an annualized
$3,396 billion, an all-time record. Compared to this, the annualized $168 billion increase of GDP in the 3rd Quarter
is a rather small figure.
Meanwhile, the job disaster continues. On Nov. 4, the job agency Challenger, Gray & Christmas reported that large
US Corporations had announced 172,000 job cuts in October, more than twice as many as during September. Of the
human resources executives polled by the job agency, 78% did not see any significant upturn in hiring within the next
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